Tank 12 Sludge Characterization and Aluminum Dissolution Demonstration

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A 3-L sludge slurry sample from Tank 12 was characterized and then processed through an aluminum dissolution demonstration. The dominant constituent of the sludge was found to be aluminum in the form of boehmite. The iron content was minor, about one-tenth that of the aluminum. The salt content of the supernatant was relatively high, with a sodium concentration of {approx}7 M. Due to these characteristics, the yield stress and plastic viscosity of the unprocessed slurry were relatively high (19 Pa and 27 cP), and the settling rate of the sludge was relatively low ({approx}20% settling over a two and a ... continued below

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Reboul, S.; Hay, M.; Zeigler, K & Stone, M. May 5, 2010.

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  • Savannah River Site (S.C.)
    Publisher Info: Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States)
    Place of Publication: Aiken, South Carolina

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A 3-L sludge slurry sample from Tank 12 was characterized and then processed through an aluminum dissolution demonstration. The dominant constituent of the sludge was found to be aluminum in the form of boehmite. The iron content was minor, about one-tenth that of the aluminum. The salt content of the supernatant was relatively high, with a sodium concentration of {approx}7 M. Due to these characteristics, the yield stress and plastic viscosity of the unprocessed slurry were relatively high (19 Pa and 27 cP), and the settling rate of the sludge was relatively low ({approx}20% settling over a two and a half week period). Prior to performing aluminum dissolution, plutonium and gadolinium were added to the slurry to simulate receipt of plutonium waste from H-Canyon. Aluminum dissolution was performed over a 26 day period at a temperature of 65 C. Approximately 60% of the insoluble aluminum dissolved during the demonstration, with the rate of dissolution slowing significantly by the end of the demonstration period. In contrast, approximately 20% of the plutonium and less than 1% of the gadolinium partitioned to the liquid phase. However, about a third of the liquid phase plutonium became solubilized prior to the dissolution period, when the H-Canyon plutonium/gadolinium simulant was added to the Tank 12 slurry. Quantification of iron dissolution was less clear, but appeared to be on the order of 1% based on the majority of data (a minor portion of the data suggested iron dissolution could be as high as 10%). The yield stress of the post-dissolution slurry (2.5 Pa) was an order of magnitude lower than the initial slurry, due most likely to the reduced insoluble solids content caused by aluminum dissolution. In contrast, the plastic viscosity remained unchanged (27 cP). The settling rate of the post-dissolution slurry was higher than the initial slurry, but still relatively low compared to settling of typical high iron content/low salt content sludges. Approximately 40% of the post-dissolution sludge settled over a three week period. The corresponding volume of supernatant that was decanted from the waste was approximately 35% of the total waste volume. The decanted supernatant contained approximately one-third of the dissolved aluminum and exhibited a mild greenish-grey hue.

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  • Report No.: SRNL-STI-2009-00180
  • Grant Number: DE-AC09-08SR22470
  • DOI: 10.2172/978454 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 978454
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc928081

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Creation Date

  • May 5, 2010

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

Description Last Updated

  • May 11, 2018, 10:50 a.m.

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Reboul, S.; Hay, M.; Zeigler, K & Stone, M. Tank 12 Sludge Characterization and Aluminum Dissolution Demonstration, report, May 5, 2010; Aiken, South Carolina. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc928081/: accessed June 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.