Seed Grant: Demonstration of a Depleted Uranium Battery

  • Dunbar, Paul (PI)
  • Lee-Desautels, Rhonda (CoI)

Grants and Contracts Details


Paducah, Kentucky is home to the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant where over 5 billion pounds of depleted uranium is waiting to be recycled to useful products or buried in a landfill in Nevada. Uranium dioxide is a very reactive compound and shows strong potential for use in secondary batteries or a high performance battery. It has similar properties to manganese dioxide commonly used in battery manufacturing. The Navy has a patent for a uranium based battery in 1965, but very little work has been done with uranium compounds recently. The goal of this project is integrate uranium with lithium to produce a high performance battery. Uranium is unique in that it can give and receive as many as six electrons as shown by the reduction potentials shown below in aqueous solutions. The figure below shows a combined reduction potential of -4.7V between uranium and uranium dioxide. In comparison to lead acid batteries where each ceJl has a reduction potential of about 2 volts between lead and lead dioxide, this would be a significant improvement. However, there is very little information about uranium's behavior in organic solvents in the presence of lithium salts.
Effective start/end date12/1/056/2/06


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