Glass composition development for plasma processing of Hanford high sodium content low-level radioactive liquid waste
Description: To assess the acceptability of prospective compositions, response criteria based on durability, homogeneity, viscosity and volatility were defined. Response variables were weighted: durability 35%, homogeneity 25%, viscosity 25%, volatility 15%. A Plackett-Burman experimental design was used to define the first twelve glass formulations. Glass former additives included Al2O3, B2O3, CaO, Li2O, ZrO2 and SiO2. Lithia was added to facilitate fritting of the additives. The additives were normalized to silica content to ease experimental matrix definition and glass formulation. Preset high and low values of these ratios were determined for the initial twelve melts. Based on rankings of initial compositions, new formulations for testing were developed based on a simplex algorithm. Rating and ranking of subsequent compositions continued until no apparent improvement in glass quality was achieved in newly developed formulations. An optimized composition was determined by averaging the additive component values of the final best performing compositions. The glass former contents to form the optimized glass were: 16.1 wt % Al2O3, 12.3 wt % B2O3, 5.5 wt % CaO, 1.7 wt % Li2O, 3.3 wt % ZrO2, 61.1 wt % SiO2. An optimized composition resulted after only 25 trials despite studying six glass additives. A vitrification campaign was completed using a small-scale Joule heated melter. 80 lbs of glass was produced over 96 hours of continuous operation. Several salt compounds formed and deposited on melter components during the run and likely caused the failure of several pour chamber heaters. In an attempt to minimize sodium volatility, several low or no boron glasses were formulated. One composition containing no boron produced a homogeneous glass worthy of additional testing.
Date: February 1, 1995
Creator: Marra, J. C.
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