Fluidized Bed Asbestos Sampler Design and Testing

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A large number of samples are required to characterize a site contaminated with asbestos from previous mine or other industrial operations. Current methods, such as EPA Region 10’s glovebox method, or the Berman Elutriator method are time consuming and costly primarily because the equipment is difficult to decontaminate between samples. EPA desires a shorter and less costly method for characterizing soil samples for asbestos. The objective of this was to design and test a qualitative asbestos sampler that operates as a fluidized bed. The proposed sampler employs a conical spouted bed to vigorously mix the soil and separate fine particulate ... continued below

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Wright, Karen E. & O'Brien, Barry H. December 1, 2007.

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Description

A large number of samples are required to characterize a site contaminated with asbestos from previous mine or other industrial operations. Current methods, such as EPA Region 10’s glovebox method, or the Berman Elutriator method are time consuming and costly primarily because the equipment is difficult to decontaminate between samples. EPA desires a shorter and less costly method for characterizing soil samples for asbestos. The objective of this was to design and test a qualitative asbestos sampler that operates as a fluidized bed. The proposed sampler employs a conical spouted bed to vigorously mix the soil and separate fine particulate including asbestos fibers on filters. The filters are then analyzed using transmission electron microscopy for presence of asbestos. During initial testing of a glass prototype using ASTM 20/30 sand and clay fines as asbestos surrogates, fine particulate adhered to the sides of the glass vessel and the tubing to the collection filter – presumably due to static charge on the fine particulate. This limited the fines recovery to ~5% of the amount added to the sand surrogate. A second prototype was constructed of stainless steel, which improved fines recovery to about 10%. Fines recovery was increased to 15% by either humidifying the inlet air or introducing a voltage probe in the air space above the sample. Since this was not a substantial improvement, testing using the steel prototype proceeded without using these techniques. Final testing of the second prototype using asbestos suggests that the fluidized bed is considerably more sensitive than the Berman elutriator method. Using a sand/tremolite mixture with 0.005% tremolite, the Berman elutriator did not segregate any asbestos structures while the fluidized bed segregated an average of 11.7. The fluidized bed was also able to segregate structures in samples containing asbestos at a 0.0001% concentration, while the Berman elutriator method did not detect any fibers at this concentration. Opportunities for improvement with the fluidized bed include improving reproducibility among replicates, increasing mass recovery, improving the lid gasket seal.

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  • Report No.: INL/EXT-07-13122
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-99ID-13727
  • DOI: 10.2172/928080 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 928080
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc893262

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

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

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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Creation Date

  • December 1, 2007

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Nov. 28, 2016, 4:38 p.m.

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Wright, Karen E. & O'Brien, Barry H. Fluidized Bed Asbestos Sampler Design and Testing, report, December 1, 2007; [Idaho Falls, Idaho]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc893262/: accessed December 13, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.