EFFECTIVENESS OF USING DILUTE OXALIC ACID TO DISSOLVEHIGH LEVEL WASTE IRON BASED SLUDGE SIMULANT

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At the Savannah River Site (SRS), near Aiken South Carolina, there is a crucial need to remove residual quantities of highly radioactive iron-based sludge from large select underground storage tanks (e.g., 19,000 liters of sludge per tank), in order to support tank closure. The use of oxalic acid is planned to dissolve the residual sludge, hence, helping in the removal. Based on rigorous testing, primarily using 4 and 8 wt% oxalic acid solutions, it was concluded that the more concentrated the acid, the greater the amount of residual sludge that would be dissolved; hence, a baseline technology on using 8 ... continued below

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Ketusky, E July 11, 2008.

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At the Savannah River Site (SRS), near Aiken South Carolina, there is a crucial need to remove residual quantities of highly radioactive iron-based sludge from large select underground storage tanks (e.g., 19,000 liters of sludge per tank), in order to support tank closure. The use of oxalic acid is planned to dissolve the residual sludge, hence, helping in the removal. Based on rigorous testing, primarily using 4 and 8 wt% oxalic acid solutions, it was concluded that the more concentrated the acid, the greater the amount of residual sludge that would be dissolved; hence, a baseline technology on using 8 wt% oxalic acid was developed. In stark contrast to the baseline technology, reports from other industries suggest that the dissolution will most effectively occur at 1 wt% oxalic acid (i.e., maintaining the pH near 2). The driver for using less oxalic acid is that less (i.e., moles) would decrease the severity of the downstream impacts (i.e., required oxalate solids removal efforts). To determine the initial feasibility of using 1 wt% acid to dissolve > 90% of the sludge solids, about 19,000 liters of representative sludge was modeled using about 530,000 liters of 0 to 8 wt% oxalic acid solutions. With the chemical thermodynamic equilibrium based software results showing that 1 wt% oxalic acid could theoretically work, simulant dissolution testing was initiated. For the dissolution testing, existing simulant was obtained, and an approximate 20 liter test rig was built. Multiple batch dissolutions of both wet and air-dried simulant were performed. Overall, the testing showed that dilute oxalic acid dissolved a greater fraction of the stimulant and resulted in a significantly larger acid effectiveness (i.e., grams of sludge dissolved/mole of acid) than the baseline technology. With the potential effectiveness confirmed via simulant testing, additional testing, including radioactive sludge testing, is planned.

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  • Journal Name: Environmental Chemistry

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  • Report No.: WSRC-STI-2008-00353
  • Grant Number: DE-AC09-96SR18500
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 935770
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc896025

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  • July 11, 2008

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  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Dec. 9, 2016, 11:23 p.m.

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Ketusky, E. EFFECTIVENESS OF USING DILUTE OXALIC ACID TO DISSOLVEHIGH LEVEL WASTE IRON BASED SLUDGE SIMULANT, article, July 11, 2008; [Aiken, South Carolina]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc896025/: accessed September 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.