Catalytic extraction processing of contaminated scrap metal Page: 4 of 22
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2.3 Catalytic Extraction Processing of Contaminated Scrap Metal
Thomas P. Griffin, Ph.D.
James E. Johnston, Ph.D.
Brian M. Payea
Bashar M. Zeitoon
Molten Metal Technology, Inc
51 Sawyer Road
Waltham, MA 02154
The U.S. Department of Energy issued a
Planned Research and Development
Announcement (PRDA) in 1993, with the
objective of identifying unique technologies which
could be applied to the most hazardous waste
streams at DOE sites. The combination of
radioactive contamination with additional
contamination by hazardous constituents such as
those identified by the Resource Conservation and
Recovery Act (RCRA) pose an especially
challenging problem. Traditional remediation
technologies are increasingly becoming less
acceptable to stakeholders and regulators because
of the risks they pose to public health and safety.
Desirable recycling technologies were described by
the DOE as: (1) easily installed, operated, and
maintained; (2) exhibiting superior environmental
performance; (3) protective of worker and public
health and safety; (4) readily acceptable to a wide
spectrum of evaluators; and (5) economically
feasible. Molten Metal Technology, Inc. (MMT)
was awarded a contract as a result of the PRDA
initiative to demonstrate the applicability of
Catalytic Extraction Processing (CEP), MMT's
proprietary elemental recycling technology, to
DOE's inventory of low level mixed waste. This
includes DOE's inventory of radioactively- and
RCRA-contaminated scrap metal and other waste
Research sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy's
Morgantown Energy Technology Center, under contract
DE-AC21-93MC30171 with Molten Metal Technology,
Inc., 51 Sawyer Road, Waltham, MA 02154; telefax:
forms expected to be generated by the
decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) of
In conjunction with the DOE, MMT
designed a program to evaluate the commercial
feasibility of Catalytic Extraction Processing to
recycle and safely dispose of targeted portions of
DOE's stockpiles of contaminated scrap metal.
The contract included the following objectives:
" Demonstrate recycling of ferrous and non-
ferrous metals -- establish that radioactive
scrap metal waste can be decontaminated and
converted to high-grade, ferrous and non-
ferrous alloys for re-use.
" Immobilize radionuclides -- demonstrate that
CEP will concentrate the radionuclides in a
dense vitreous phase, minimize secondary
waste generation, and stabilize and reduce
" Destroy hazardous organic constituents --
demonstrate the conversion of hazardous
organic compounds into valuable product
gases, which could be used as chemical
feedstocks or as an energy source.
* Recover volatile heavy metals --
demonstrate the capability of the gas
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Griffin, T.P.; Johnston, J.E.; Payea, B.M. & Zeitoon, B.M. Catalytic extraction processing of contaminated scrap metal, report, December 1, 1995; United States. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc622781/m1/4/: accessed April 18, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.