Description: Mercury (Hg) was used to separate lithium-6 isotope for weapons production at the Y-12 Plant in Oak Ridge in the 1950s and 1960s. As much as two million pounds of elemental mercury was 'lost' or unaccounted for and a large portion of that material is believed to have entered the environment. The DOE site office in Oak Ridge has identified Hg pollution in soils, sediments, and streams as the most significant environmental challenge currently faced. In industry, large amounts of mercury have been used to manufacture products (e.g., fluorescent light bulbs, thermometers) and for chemical processing (e.g., production of chlorine and alkali via mercury electrochemical cells) and many of these industrial sites are now polluted with mercury contaminated soil as a result of previous releases and/or inadvertent leaks. Remediation techniques for Hg contaminated soils are either based on thermal desorption and recovery of the mercury or excavation and shipping of large volumes of material to remote facilities for treatment and disposal. Both of these alternatives are extremely costly. The Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) Environmental Research & Technology Division (ERTD) has demonstrated, in laboratory-scale experiments, the viability of treating mercury contaminated soils by means of sulfide treatment rods inserted into the soil through a process known as In Situ Mercury Stabilization (ISMS). This approach is partly based on BNL's patented and successfully licensed ex situ process for Hg treatment, Sulfur Polymer Stabilization/Solidification (SPSS) which converts Hg to the more stable sulfide form. The original experiments showed that Hg homogeneously distributed in soil rapidly migrates to form a high concentration zone of chemically stable mercuric sulfide near the treatment rods while concentrations of Hg in surrounding areas away from the treatment rods are depleted to acceptable levels. BSA has subsequently filed for patent protection on the ISMS technology. If further developed it ...
Date: March 1, 2008
Creator: Kalb,P.D. & Milian, L.
Item Type: Refine your search to only Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department