Precipitation and Deposition of Aluminum-Containing Species in Tank Wastes

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Aluminum-containing phases represent the most prevalent solids that can appear or disappear during the processing of radioactive tank wastes. Processes such as sludge washing and leaching are designed to dissolve Al-containing phases and thereby minimize the volume of high-level waste glass required to encapsulate radioactive sludges. Unfortunately, waste-processing steps that include evaporation can involve solutions that are supersaturated with respect to cementitious aluminosilicates that result in unwanted precipitation and scale formation. Of all the constituents of tank waste, limited solubility cementitious aluminosilicates have the greatest potential for clogging pipes and transfer lines, fouling highly radioactive components such as ion exchangers, ... continued below

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Mattigod, Shas V.; Hobbs, David T.; Wang, Li-Qiong; Dabbs, Daniel M. & Aksay, Ilhan A. June 2002.

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Aluminum-containing phases represent the most prevalent solids that can appear or disappear during the processing of radioactive tank wastes. Processes such as sludge washing and leaching are designed to dissolve Al-containing phases and thereby minimize the volume of high-level waste glass required to encapsulate radioactive sludges. Unfortunately, waste-processing steps that include evaporation can involve solutions that are supersaturated with respect to cementitious aluminosilicates that result in unwanted precipitation and scale formation. Of all the constituents of tank waste, limited solubility cementitious aluminosilicates have the greatest potential for clogging pipes and transfer lines, fouling highly radioactive components such as ion exchangers, and completely shutting down processing operations. For instance, deposit buildup and clogged drain lines experienced during the tank waste volume-reduction process at the Savannah River Site (SRS) required an evaporator to be shut down in October 1999. The Waste Processing Technology Section of Westinghouse Savannah River Company at SRS now is collaborating with team members from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to verify the thermodynamic stability of aluminosilicate compounds under waste tank conditions in an attempt to solve the deposition and clogging problems. The primary objectives of this study are (1) to understand the major factors controlling precipitation, heterogeneous nucleation, and growth phenomena of relatively insoluble aluminosilicates; (2) to determine the role of organics for inhibiting aluminosilicate formation, and (3) to develop a predictive tool to control precipitation, scale formation, and cementation under tank waste processing conditions. The results of this work will provide crucial information for (1) avoiding problematical sludge processing steps and (2) identifying and developing effective technologies to process retrieved sludges and supernatants before ultimate vitrification of wastes.

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  • Other Information: PBD: 1 Jun 2002

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  • Report No.: EMSP-81887-2002
  • Grant Number: FG07-01ER14929
  • DOI: 10.2172/834764 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 834764
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc782625

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  • June 2002

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  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • April 21, 2016, 7:41 p.m.

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Mattigod, Shas V.; Hobbs, David T.; Wang, Li-Qiong; Dabbs, Daniel M. & Aksay, Ilhan A. Precipitation and Deposition of Aluminum-Containing Species in Tank Wastes, report, June 2002; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc782625/: accessed December 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.