Engineering Symposium: Industrial Applications via Novel Compact Electron Beam Accelerator

  • Sept. 12, 2019, 1:00 pm
  • One West

Speaker: Slavica Grdanovska, PhD, Fermilab/IARC & Charlie Cooper Directorate/IARC

Electron beam (e-beam) technology provides an efficient, safe and environmentally friendly way to drive chemical reactions. E-beam technology is used in a vast array of industries and common consumer products, with sales eclipsing $2B annually, providing an estimated added value to products of more than $500B every year worldwide. The main processes initiated by electron beam are polymer modification by crosslinking or scission, curing of coatings, decomposition of industrial effluents, or
synthesis of new substances. Accelerator technology has applications in water and biosolids treatment, cargo scanning, material modification using electron beams, medical sterilization (X-ray and electron beam), industrial electron-beam driven chemistry, advanced manufacturing, environmental remediation and food sterilization. However, implementation of e-beam technology has been fairly slow due to general lack of knowledge of the technology. Also, applications of conventional e-beam accelerators
currently available on the market are limited because they are not energy efficient, take up a large foot print and can be complicated to use and maintain.
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The Illinois Accelerator Research Center (IARC) at Fermilab exploits technologies developed for science and further advances them for industrial applications. For instance, we have developed a novel compact electron beam accelerator that holds a number of advantages over conventional technologies. This innovation could provide solutions towards commercial needs that have either little success or are excessively costly. Concurrently, we are developing applications, such as water treatment and curing pavement, enabled by this accelerator. The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Chicago is helping us study the possibility of using e-beam accelerator for multiple issues in the water and biosolids treatment process. In addition, IARC is currently working with the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) and the U.S. Department of Energy to develop advanced materials that will improve the strength, weather resistance, toughness, chemical resistance and service life of paved surfaces. This work focuses on treating several bitumen-polymer formulations at various dose rates and total doses to improve material properties and produce feasible bitumen products for road use.