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Advancements in the Supercritical Water Hydrothermal Synthesis (scWHS) of Metal Oxide Nanoparticles

E. Lester, P. Blood, J. Li and M. Poliakoff
University of Nottingham, GB

Keywords:
supercritical water, hydrothermal synthesis, reactor design, nozzle

Abstract:
Supercritical Water Hydrothermal Synthesis (scWHS) is a relatively simple and environmentally friendly process for the production of potentially valuable metal oxide nanoparticles. This paper presents the conclusions of collaborative work between chemical engineers and chemists that attempts to optimise the reaction engineering involved in this process, with the goal of reducing or even eliminating the fundamental process flaw of blocking inside the reactor during continuous operation.
 
The reactor design is now patented and has been shown to be capable of producing a wide variety of nano metals/metal oxides and mixed metal alloys; including TiO2, CeO2, Silver, CuO, YAG, InO2, CdS and ZrO2. Operating conditions, such as temperature, metal salt concentration and flow rate have all been shown to control particle characteristics.
 
Recent work has been focussed on the addition of capping agents during particle production.

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