Hydrogen production through aluminium corrosion in a cement-based matrix

Nicolas Bulidon, Krystel Pelissier, Clement Boissy,Christophe Mendibide, Valerie Maillot,Xavier Bourbon,Didier Crusset


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In France, deep geological disposal is considered for the storage of high and intermediate-level long-lived radioactive wastes. For aluminium, the possibility to encapsulate the wastes in a cement-based matrix is studied. However, cement being an alkaline environment, aluminium can lose its passivity, starts to corrode leading to hydrogen evolution in the infrastructures and generate a possible explosive hazard after decades of storage if hydrogen can accumulate somewhere in the facility. It is therefore necessary to study the corrosion behaviour of aluminium in the different cements considered for the encapsulation to estimate the possible amount of hydrogen that could be generated through corrosion and design the cement capsules accordingly. This work mainly focused on the reaction occurring at the aluminium-cement interface. Raman spectroscopy did not highlight significant differences in the nature of the corrosion products forming at the cement/aluminium interface, leading to the conclusion that it is not the chemistry of the cement that is the key factor controlling the corrosion rate but rather the physical properties of the cement matrix. To ensure the safety of the disposal facilities and the integrity of the cement capsules, the amount of aluminium that is disposed of in each waste package must be specified and is limited to mitigate the level of hydrogen production produced by aluminium corrosion. This article presents an overview of the local evolution of the environment at the interface aluminium-cement to explain the different corrosion rates of aluminium in three different cement matrix (CEM I, CEM III/C and CEM V).image
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