Postdoctoral Research Associate - Molten Salt Chemistry
Dr. Maltsev has been involved in Molten Salt Chemistry since he was an undergraduate student. He has studied behaviour of oxygen containing uranium (V) ions, UO2+, in chloride melts that included studying processes of formation of U(V) ions under high temperature or electrochemical reduction of uranyl ions or oxidation of U(IV) ions. Apart from its fundamental interest, this work was aimed at studying the reactions of uranyl ions reduction in melts contained imitators of fission products (Nb, Zr, Pd), and estimating possibility of joint separation of electropositive fission products from uranyl contained melts without employing electrolysis. Two patents were obtained based on the results of this work.
His project as a post-graduate student at Ural Federal University was to investigate the behaviour and properties of uranium in chloride melts as well as in liquid metal alloys based on binary alloys of Ga with In, Al, and Sn. The main goal was to obtain electrochemical and thermodynamic data necessary to estimate separation factor of actinides and lanthanides as well as to verify thermodynamic calculation by experiment. This was achieved and experimental values of separation factors were obtained.
His project as a master student at Ural Federal University was to study Gd behaviour in liquid metal alloys based on binary alloys of Ga with Zn and Sn, specifically determining solubility, activity and activity coefficients in the systems studied in a wide temperature range.
Results of his post-graduate and master work were the part of a large scale scientific project in Russia devoted to development of a process of separation fission products from fissile materials in a “chloride melt – liquid metal” system.
He has worked in a laboratory of high-temperature spectroscopy and continue spectroscopic, electrochemical and spectroelectrochemical investigation of behaviour and speciation of various elements in molten salts and liquid metals, including mutual effects when several elements are present together. The elements lately studied included uranium, lanthanum, zirconium, and gadolinium. In June 2017, a Master student under a joint supervision of Dr. V.A. Volkovich and Dr. Maltsev successfully defended their thesis on “Thermodynamic properties of rare earth elements in La–RE–Ga–In (RE = Nd, Y) Alloys”.
Currently, Dr. Maltsev is working on enhancing the specific heat capacity of molten salts for heat transfer applications using nanoparticles. He will continue the spectroscopic study of behaviour and speciation of uranium in molten salts.
Research-related Skills and Scientific Interests
- Electronic absorption spectroscopy and electrochemistry applied to molten salts over a wide temperature range. In particular, he has studied the behaviour of uranium in molten alkali chlorides, and in the presence of niobium, zirconium and molybdenum, investigated possibilities of using liquid metal systems in reprocessing spent nuclear fuels. Experienced in working with a range of conventional and fibre optic spectrophotometers and associated computer programs.
- Enhancing the specific heat capacity of molten salts for heat transfer applications using nanoparticles.
Experience in investigating possible applications of molten salt and bimetallic liquid alloys media for technological purposes, including electroplating, refining, nuclear reactor fuels production and reprocessing.
Experience in investigating thermodynamic properties of uranium and rare earth elements in liquid metal alloys based on Ga, In, Al, Zn, Sn and their mixtures.
- Experience in the classical methods of analysis, as well as several instrumental analytical techniques, including uv-vis., IR, Raman and diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, and X-ray powder diffraction.
- Experience in molten salts preparation and purification.
- Radiochemistry training. Worked with uranium.