Particle Size of Simulated SRS Sludge, Actual SRS Sludge, and Monosodium Titanate Page: 3 of 8
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The authors reviewed and compiled typical data from prior measurements of the size of
simulated sludge, actual sludge, and monosodium titanate (MST) particles. For the actual waste,
the authors attempted to collect all available data from prior measurements. Since few prior
measurements exist and since these analyses occurred using different analytical methods that
span over two decades, the authors cannot verify the consistency of the methods used to make
the measurements nor fully ensure the reliability of the information.
The review found the procured MST (from 55-gallon drums) to have a median particle size of
4 - 5 p, a maximum particle size of 16 p, and approximately 2 vol % of the particles smaller
than 1 p. The sludge samples - whether simulated or actual - had a median particle size of
2 - 16 p, a maximum particle size of 31 - 248 p, and 1 - 9 vol % of particles smaller than 1 p.
The Savannah River Site (SRS) is developing a new High Level Waste (HLW) treatment
process, caustic side solvent extraction (CSSX). The first step of the process adds monosodium
titanate (MST) to adsorb strontium and select actinides. Operations then remove the MST and
entrained sludge by crossflow filtration, and the filtrate is treated by the solvent extraction
process to remove cesium. The decontaminated waste is grouted, and the concentrated waste is
To aid design of the crossflow filtration system, one needs to understand the size of the sludge
and MST particles. The authors report previous sludge and MST particle size data in this report.
Table 1, and Figures 1 and 2 show the particle size of six vendor qualification MST samples.15
The samples are from drums of MST slurry that were manufactured for use at the In Tank
Precipitation Facility in the mid-1990s. One sample came from Boulder Scientific and five
samples came from Optima. The Bolder Scientific MST was used in the rotary microfilter
testing.8 The Optima MST was qualified for use at the Alpha Removal Process.1 The Optima
samples are from a single lot number.
The median MST particle size measured 4 - 5 p. The maximum particle size measured 16 p,
and approximately 2 vol % of the particles proved smaller than 1 p. The five Optima samples
show very good agreement.
Current and past procurement specifications require that the vendor provide MST as a slurry with
no more than 1 vol % of the particles smaller than 1 p and no more than 1 vol % of the particles
larger than 35 p.9 Both attrition and clumping can occur during storage. The clumping can
become significant when storage occurs without temperature control. Personnel generally need
to use aggressive methods to suspend the settled solids.
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Poirier, M.R. Particle Size of Simulated SRS Sludge, Actual SRS Sludge, and Monosodium Titanate, report, August 7, 2003; South Carolina. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc737548/m1/3/: accessed March 25, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.