γ tracking on the basis of positron emission tomography of particles and gases in bulk solids
Detailed knowledge from particle physics experiments will be used to study in-situ the behaviour of particles and gases in bulk reactors. γ rays (γs) from a positron annihilation will be used in a PET-like configuration taking advantage of developments of most-modern particle physics detectors. The benefits are obvious: advances in Positron Emission Tomography (PET) are driven to a significant extent by progress in instrumentation, i.e. by the performance of scintillation counters, photodetectors and readout electronics, mostly achieved by particle physics. The advantage of PET lies in the fact that it is a non-invasive technology that allows to study the behaviour of systems in a closed containment densely packed with particles. While PET technology is often used in medical applications, we will use bulk particles and gases marked with radioactive positron sources and PET to study the transport of those particles and gases in bulk solids reactors. PET allows us to track multiple bulk particles of any shape with high precision while at the same time determining their path and velocity. To study gas dispersion, which could be a gaseous fuel in a bulk solids reactor, we will mix the gas with positron emitting nuclei. The redistribution of activity inside the reactor volume during the dispersion process observed with the PET detector system, will provide information about the dispersion of the gas in the void spaces between the bulk particles.