LITERATURE REVIEWS TO SUPPORT ION EXCHANGE TECHNOLOGY SELECTION FOR MODULAR SALT PROCESSING

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This report summarizes the results of literature reviews conducted to support the selection of a cesium removal technology for application in a small column ion exchange (SCIX) unit supported within a high level waste tank. SCIX is being considered as a technology for the treatment of radioactive salt solutions in order to accelerate closure of waste tanks at the Savannah River Site (SRS) as part of the Modular Salt Processing (MSP) technology development program. Two ion exchange materials, spherical Resorcinol-Formaldehyde (RF) and engineered Crystalline Silicotitanate (CST), are being considered for use within the SCIX unit. Both ion exchange materials have ... continued below

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King, W November 30, 2007.

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This report summarizes the results of literature reviews conducted to support the selection of a cesium removal technology for application in a small column ion exchange (SCIX) unit supported within a high level waste tank. SCIX is being considered as a technology for the treatment of radioactive salt solutions in order to accelerate closure of waste tanks at the Savannah River Site (SRS) as part of the Modular Salt Processing (MSP) technology development program. Two ion exchange materials, spherical Resorcinol-Formaldehyde (RF) and engineered Crystalline Silicotitanate (CST), are being considered for use within the SCIX unit. Both ion exchange materials have been studied extensively and are known to have high affinities for cesium ions in caustic tank waste supernates. RF is an elutable organic resin and CST is a non-elutable inorganic material. Waste treatment processes developed for the two technologies will differ with regard to solutions processed, secondary waste streams generated, optimum column size, and waste throughput. Pertinent references, anticipated processing sequences for utilization in waste treatment, gaps in the available data, and technical comparisons will be provided for the two ion exchange materials to assist in technology selection for SCIX. The engineered, granular form of CST (UOP IE-911) was the baseline ion exchange material used for the initial development and design of the SRS SCIX process (McCabe, 2005). To date, in-tank SCIX has not been implemented for treatment of radioactive waste solutions at SRS. Since initial development and consideration of SCIX for SRS waste treatment an alternative technology has been developed as part of the River Protection Project Waste Treatment Plant (RPP-WTP) Research and Technology program (Thorson, 2006). Spherical RF resin is the baseline media for cesium removal in the RPP-WTP, which was designed for the treatment of radioactive waste supernates and is currently under construction in Hanford, WA. Application of RF for cesium removal in the Hanford WTP does not involve in-riser columns but does utilize the resin in large scale column configurations in a waste treatment facility. The basic conceptual design for SCIX involves the dissolution of saltcake in SRS Tanks 1-3 to give approximately 6 M sodium solutions and the treatment of these solutions for cesium removal using one or two columns supported within a high level waste tank. Prior to ion exchange treatment, the solutions will be filtered for removal of entrained solids. In addition to Tanks 1-3, solutions in two other tanks (37 and 41) will require treatment for cesium removal in the SCIX unit. The previous SCIX design (McCabe, 2005) utilized CST for cesium removal with downflow supernate processing and included a CST grinder following cesium loading. Grinding of CST was necessary to make the cesium-loaded material suitable for vitrification in the SRS Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF). Because RF resin is elutable (and reusable) and processing requires conversion between sodium and hydrogen forms using caustic and acidic solutions more liquid processing steps are involved. The WTP baseline process involves a series of caustic and acidic solutions (downflow processing) with water washes between pH transitions across neutral. In addition, due to resin swelling during conversion from hydrogen to sodium form an upflow caustic regeneration step is required. Presumably, one of these basic processes (or some variation) will be utilized for MSP for the appropriate ion exchange technology selected. CST processing involves two primary waste products: loaded CST and decontaminated salt solution (DSS). RF processing involves three primary waste products: spent RF resin, DSS, and acidic cesium eluate, although the resin is reusable and typically does not require replacement until completion of multiple treatment cycles. CST processing requires grinding of the ion exchange media, handling of solids with high cesium loading, and handling of liquid wash and conditioning solutions. RF processing requires handling and evaporation of cesium eluates, disposal of spent organic resin, and handling of the various liquid wash and regenerate solutions used. In both cases, the DSS will be immobilized in a low activity waste form. It appears that both technologies are mature, well studied, and generally suitable for this application. Technology selection will likely be based on downstream impacts or preferences between the various processing options for the two materials rather than on some unacceptable performance property identified for one material. As a result, the following detailed technical review and summary of the two technologies should be useful to assist in technology selection for SCIX.

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  • Report No.: WSRC-STI-2007-00609
  • Grant Number: DE-AC09-96SR18500
  • DOI: 10.2172/923833 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 923833
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc897945

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  • November 30, 2007

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  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Nov. 2, 2016, 5:23 p.m.

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King, W. LITERATURE REVIEWS TO SUPPORT ION EXCHANGE TECHNOLOGY SELECTION FOR MODULAR SALT PROCESSING, report, November 30, 2007; [Aiken, South Carolina]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc897945/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.