SUMMARY OF 2009 RHEOLOGY MODIFIER PROGRAM

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The overall objective of the EM-31 Rheological Modifiers and Wetting Agents program is to utilize commercially available rheology modifiers to increase the solids fraction of radioactive sludge based waste streams, resulting in an increase in throughput and decreasing the overall processing time. The program first investigates the impact of rheology modifiers on slurry simulants and then utilizes the most effective rheology modifiers on radioactive slurries. The work presented in this document covers the initial investigation of rheology modifier testing with simulants. This task is supported by both the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). The ... continued below

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Hansen, E. December 8, 2009.

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The overall objective of the EM-31 Rheological Modifiers and Wetting Agents program is to utilize commercially available rheology modifiers to increase the solids fraction of radioactive sludge based waste streams, resulting in an increase in throughput and decreasing the overall processing time. The program first investigates the impact of rheology modifiers on slurry simulants and then utilizes the most effective rheology modifiers on radioactive slurries. The work presented in this document covers the initial investigation of rheology modifier testing with simulants. This task is supported by both the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). The SRNL EM-31 task, for this year, was to investigate the use of rheology modifiers on simulant Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) melter feeds. The task is to determine, based on the impact of the rheology modifier, if there are rheology modifiers that could reduce the water content of the slurry going to the DWPF melter, hence increasing the melt rate by decreasing the water loading. The rheology modifier in essence would allow a higher solids content slurry to have the same type of rheology or pumpability of a lower solids slurry. The modifiers selected in this report were determined based on previous modifiers used in high level waste melter feed simulants, on-going testing performed by counterparts at PNNL, and experiences gain through use of modifiers in other Department of Energy (DOE) processes such as grout processing. There were 12 rheology modifiers selected for testing, covering both organic and inorganic types and they were tested at four different concentrations for a given melter feed. Five different DWPF melter feeds were available and there was adequate material in one of the melter feeds to increase the solids concentration, resulting in a total of six simulants for testing. The mass of melter feed available in each simulant was not adequate for testing each rheology modifier, hence based on the changes in rheology for a given rheology modifier, rheology modifiers were either dropped or added between simulants. Three rheology modifiers were used on all simulants. The results from this testing indicate that citric acid or polycarboxylate based rheology modifiers are the most effective in reducing the yield stress, by as much as 70% at the higher rheology modifier additions and were effective on most of the tested simulants. These rheology modifiers are organic, hence the can also be used as reductants in melter operations. The most effective non-organic rheology modifiers, sodium metasilicate reduced the yield stress by 10%. It is recommended that both citric acid and commercially available polycarboxylate rheology modifiers be further investigated. Different molecular weight polycarboxylates and different types of polycarboxylates used in other industries must be considered. These polycarboxylates are extensively utilized in the cement, ceramic, and water treatment processes, hence readily available. Future work on DWPF melter feeds involving rheology modifiers should include, assuming the present method of processing sludge through DPWF does not change, is: (1) Investigate the use of polycarboxylate in various processes and procure polycarboxylates for testing. Limit rheology modifier selection and future testing between four and eight different types. (2) Test rheology modifiers on at least two different chemical types or bounding DWPF SME product simulants. Test to include the impact of boiling and the effectiveness in reducing water content via rheology versus weight percent curves. (3) Based on selected modifiers, perform testing on actual radioactive melter feed based on results from simulant testing.

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  • Report No.: SRNL-STI-2009-00697
  • Grant Number: DE-AC09-08SR22470
  • DOI: 10.2172/970619 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 970619
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc929311

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  • December 8, 2009

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Dec. 12, 2016, 6:41 p.m.

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Hansen, E. SUMMARY OF 2009 RHEOLOGY MODIFIER PROGRAM, report, December 8, 2009; South Carolina. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc929311/: accessed April 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.