Project Name: Mitigation of Molten Salt Corrosion
Funding Opportunity: Solar Energy Technologies Office Fiscal Year 2018 Funding Program (SETO FY2018)
SETO Team: Concentrating Solar Power
Location: West Lafayette, IN
SETO Award Amount: $400,000
Awardee Cost Share: $100,000
Planned Timeline: 2019-2021

-- Award and cost share amounts are subject to change pending negotiations --

This project team is developing a way to reduce the corrosion of metal alloys in contact with molten chloride salts in concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) plants. Molten chloride salts are currently being investigated to transfer and store the heat generated by next-generation CSP plants, and at high temperatures, they have the potential to rapidly corrode their containers, typically made of metal alloys. Corrosion is the major source of failure for chloride salt heat-transfer fluids in CSP systems and preventing corrosion may allow CSP plants to operate at higher temperatures, improving efficiency and lowering the cost of CSP electricity.


This project is testing two alternative approaches for reducing corrosion of materials in contact with molten salts in CSP plants. The first is the low-oxygen approach, which uses inert gasses to remove corrosive oxygen compounds from molten salts. The second is the high-oxygen approach, which uses oxidation-resistant salts with compatible oxidized metal-alloy containers.


This project aims to establish two scalable, cost-effective ways to reduce the corrosion of containers for molten salts in CSP plants to below 30 micrometers per year at temperatures of 750oC or above. Reducing this corrosion at higher temperatures will enable CSP plants to operate more efficiently and at lower costs.