IMPACT OF NOBLE METALS AND MERCURY ON HYDROGEN GENERATION DURING HIGH LEVEL WASTE PRETREATMENT AT THE SAVANNAH RIVER SITE

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The Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) at the Savannah River Site vitrifies radioactive High Level Waste (HLW) for repository internment. The process consists of three major steps: waste pretreatment, vitrification, and canister decontamination/sealing. HLW consists of insoluble metal hydroxides (primarily iron, aluminum, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and uranium) and soluble sodium salts (carbonate, hydroxide, nitrite, nitrate, and sulfate). The pretreatment process in the Chemical Processing Cell (CPC) consists of two process tanks, the Sludge Receipt and Adjustment Tank (SRAT) and the Slurry Mix Evaporator (SME) as well as a melter feed tank. During SRAT processing, nitric and formic acids are added ... continued below

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Stone, M; Tommy Edwards, T & David Koopman, D March 3, 2009.

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The Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) at the Savannah River Site vitrifies radioactive High Level Waste (HLW) for repository internment. The process consists of three major steps: waste pretreatment, vitrification, and canister decontamination/sealing. HLW consists of insoluble metal hydroxides (primarily iron, aluminum, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and uranium) and soluble sodium salts (carbonate, hydroxide, nitrite, nitrate, and sulfate). The pretreatment process in the Chemical Processing Cell (CPC) consists of two process tanks, the Sludge Receipt and Adjustment Tank (SRAT) and the Slurry Mix Evaporator (SME) as well as a melter feed tank. During SRAT processing, nitric and formic acids are added to the sludge to lower pH, destroy nitrite and carbonate ions, and reduce mercury and manganese. During the SME cycle, glass formers are added, and the batch is concentrated to the final solids target prior to vitrification. During these processes, hydrogen can be produced by catalytic decomposition of excess formic acid. The waste contains silver, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, and mercury, but silver and palladium have been shown to be insignificant factors in catalytic hydrogen generation during the DWPF process. A full factorial experimental design was developed to ensure that the existence of statistically significant two-way interactions could be determined without confounding of the main effects with the two-way interaction effects. Rh ranged from 0.0026-0.013% and Ru ranged from 0.010-0.050% in the dried sludge solids, while initial Hg ranged from 0.5-2.5 wt%, as shown in Table 1. The nominal matrix design consisted of twelve SRAT cycles. Testing included: a three factor (Rh, Ru, and Hg) study at two levels per factor (eight runs), three duplicate midpoint runs, and one additional replicate run to assess reproducibility away from the midpoint. Midpoint testing was used to identify potential quadratic effects from the three factors. A single sludge simulant was used for all tests and was spiked with the required amount of noble metals immediately prior to performing the test. Acid addition was kept effectively constant except to compensate for variations in the starting mercury concentration. SME cycles were also performed during six of the tests.

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  • Report No.: SRNL-STI-2008-00501
  • Grant Number: DE-AC09-08SR22470
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 949873
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc927523

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  • March 3, 2009

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  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Dec. 9, 2016, 11:40 p.m.

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Stone, M; Tommy Edwards, T & David Koopman, D. IMPACT OF NOBLE METALS AND MERCURY ON HYDROGEN GENERATION DURING HIGH LEVEL WASTE PRETREATMENT AT THE SAVANNAH RIVER SITE, article, March 3, 2009; South Carolina. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc927523/: accessed November 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.