Final Report - "Foaming and Antifoaming and Gas Entrainment in Radioactive Waste Pretreatment and Immobilization Processes"

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The Savannah River Site (SRS) and Hanford site are in the process of stabilizing millions of gallons of radioactive waste slurries remaining from production of nuclear materials for the Department of Energy (DOE). The Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) at SRS is currently vitrifying the waste in borosilicate glass, while the facilities at the Hanford site are in the construction phase. Both processes utilize slurry-fed joule-heated melters to vitrify the waste slurries. The DWPF has experienced difficulty during operations. The cause of the operational problems has been attributed to foaming, gas entrainment and the rheological properties of the process slurries. ... continued below

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Wasan, Darsh T. October 9, 2007.

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The Savannah River Site (SRS) and Hanford site are in the process of stabilizing millions of gallons of radioactive waste slurries remaining from production of nuclear materials for the Department of Energy (DOE). The Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) at SRS is currently vitrifying the waste in borosilicate glass, while the facilities at the Hanford site are in the construction phase. Both processes utilize slurry-fed joule-heated melters to vitrify the waste slurries. The DWPF has experienced difficulty during operations. The cause of the operational problems has been attributed to foaming, gas entrainment and the rheological properties of the process slurries. The rheological properties of the waste slurries limit the total solids content that can be processed by the remote equipment during the pretreatment and meter feed processes. Highly viscous material can lead to air entrainment during agitation and difficulties with pump operations. Excessive foaming in waste evaporators can cause carryover of radionuclides and non-radioactive waste to the condensate system. Experimental and theoretical investigations of the surface phenomena, suspension rheology and bubble generation of interactions that lead to foaming and air entrainment problems in the DOE High Level and Low Activity Radioactive Waste separation and immobilization processes were pursued under this project. The first major task accomplished in the grant proposal involved development of a theoretical model of the phenomenon of foaming in a three-phase gas-liquid-solid slurry system. This work was presented in a recently completed Ph.D. thesis (9). The second major task involved the investigation of the inter-particle interaction and microstructure formation in a model slurry by the batch sedimentation method. Both experiments and modeling studies were carried out. The results were presented in a recently completed Ph.D. thesis. The third task involved the use of laser confocal microscopy to study the effectiveness of three slurry rheology modifiers. An effective modifier was identified which resulted in lowering the yield stress of the waste simulant. Therefore, the results of this research have led to the basic understanding of the foaming/antifoaming mechanism in waste slurries as well as identification of a rheology modifier, which enhances the processing throughput, and accelerates the DOE mission. The objectives of this research effort were to develop a fundamental understanding of the physico-chemical mechanisms that produced foaming and air entrainment in the DOE High Level (HLW) and Low Activity (LAW) radioactive waste separation and immobilization processes, and to develop and test advanced antifoam/defoaming/rheology modifier agents. Antifoams/rheology modifiers developed from this research ere tested using non-radioactive simulants of the radioactive wastes obtained from Hanford and the Savannah River Site (SRS).

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  • Report No.: DOE/FG/ER64004 Final Report
  • Grant Number: FG02-05ER64004
  • DOI: 10.2172/917352 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 917352
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc890501

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • October 9, 2007

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Nov. 4, 2016, 3:25 p.m.

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Wasan, Darsh T. Final Report - "Foaming and Antifoaming and Gas Entrainment in Radioactive Waste Pretreatment and Immobilization Processes", report, October 9, 2007; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc890501/: accessed November 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.