Foaming and Antifoaming in Radioactive Waste Pretreatment and Immobilization Processes Page: 5 of 28
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METHODS AND RESULTS
Experimental and theoretical investigations of the surface phenomena, suspensions
rheology, and bubble generation interactions that lead to the formation of foams
during waste processing were pursued. During the grant period, the following
four objectives were accomplished (I) elucidating the key mechanisms that
produce foaming in the presence of small solid particles present in radioactive
wastes, (II) development of advanced confocal microscopic technique to observe
particle-gas-liquid interactions in simulated DOE wastes (III) determination of the
effects of soluble and insoluble inorganic components and organic complexants on
foam formation and stability in defense waste matrices, and (IV) development and
testing of advanced antifoam/defoamer agents.
I. Major Mechanisms of Foam Formation and Stabilization
The first task accomplished in the grant period involved establishment of the
major mechanisms of formation and stabilization of foams containing very small
insoluble particles since the radioactive waste foams are typically stabilized by
such particles. The solid particles stabilize foams in two ways: by adsorption of
biphilic or amphiphilic (i.e., containing both hydrophilic and hydrophobic parts)
particles at the surface of the foam lamella (liquid-gas interfaces) and by layering
of the particles trapped inside the foam lamella or film. During bubble generation
and rise, hydrophilic solid particles organize themselves into a layered structure
due to confinement between neighboring bubbles, and this structure provides a
barrier against the coalescence of the bubbles, thereby causing foaming and foam
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Wasan, Darsh T.; Nikolov, Alex D.; Lamber, D.P.; Calloway, T. Bond & Stone, M.E. Foaming and Antifoaming in Radioactive Waste Pretreatment and Immobilization Processes, report, March 12, 2005; United States. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc780348/m1/5/: accessed April 21, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.