Particle Size of Simulated SRS Sludge, Actual SRS Sludge, and Monosodium Titanate Page: 4 of 8
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Table 2, and Figures 3 and 4 show the particle size of six sludge samples.2,34 Two of the
samples are simulated sludge, and four of the samples are actual sludge. The Tank 41H sample
was entrained sludge in dissolved saltcake.' The other actual sludge samples were concentrated
sludge. The median particle size is 2 - 16 p. The maximum particle size ranges between 31 and
248 p, and 1 - 9 vol % of the particles are smaller than 1 p.
In reviewing the sludge samples, the reader is reminded that the samples (except for Tank 41H)
do not represent entrained sludge solids such as expected in the feed to either the Salt Waste
Processing Facility or the Alpha Removal Process. Rather, the samples more characteristically
reflect the bulk properties of the entire sludge. Such solutions typically contain only trace
amounts of solids and typical sampling only collects 60 - 100 mL aliquots at any time.
Notice that the sludge samples show a broader distribution of particle sizes than does MST. This
wider variance in particle size and the lack of a means to control size of sludge particles imply
that sludge will dominate the filtration performance for the process. This agrees with prior
studies that show that addition of MST results in a slightly beneficial impact on filter flux for a
Mott cross-flow filter using simulated waste.6
Note that Figure 3 indicates that simulated sludges have not bound the distribution of particle
sizes previously measured for actual waste. Unfortunately, one can not a priori determine
whether the broader diversity in particle size for the actual sludge will result in measurably
worse performance for the cross-flow filters in the Salt Waste Processing Facility or in the Alpha
Data does exist, from routine characterization of tank samples, that demonstrates solid particles
present in waste samples with size below 0.45 p. Often, researchers use a second filter (as small
as 0.02 p) to remove these particles. However, the bulk of the activity in the filtrate that passes
through the 0.45 p filters remains soluble.
We also remind the reader that the nominal filter sizes cited during characterization tank samples
do not directly equate to vendor quoted sizes for a sintered metal filter. The difference in
designations proves more pronounced, for instance, for the Mott cross-flow filters studies within
this program. That vendor defines the 0.5 p as one that rejects 50 % of the particles greater than
0.5 p, 90 % of the particles greater than 1 p, 99 % of the particles greater than 1.7 p, and 99.9 %
of the particles greater than 2.2 p.10 Similarly, the efficiency of any filter varies with the slurry
processed. Nominal sizes relate to a specific standard slurry for a given vendor. The
performance in extreme environments - such as alkaline, HLW solutions - will differ due to both
the influence of the solution media on the material (e.g., swelling or leaching) as well as due to
variances in the particle morphology, shape, and, size distribution.
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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/m1/4/: accessed March 21, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.