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Evaluation of an ambient air sampling system for tritium (as tritiated water vapor) using silica gel adsorbent columns

Description: Ambient air samples for tritium analysis (as the tritiated water vapor [HTO] content of atmospheric moisture) are collected for the Hanford Site Surface Environmental Surveillance Project (SESP) using the solid adsorbent silica gel. The silica gel has a moisture sensitive indicator which allows for visual observation of moisture movement through a column. Despite using an established method, some silica gel columns showed a complete change in the color indicator for summertime samples suggesting that breakthrough had occurred; thus a series of tests was conducted on the sampling system in an environmental chamber. The purpose of this study was to determine the maximum practical sampling volume and overall collection efficiency for water vapor collected on silica gel columns. Another purpose was to demonstrate the use of an impinger-based system to load water vapor onto silica gel columns to provide realistic analytical spikes and blanks for the Hanford Site SESP. Breakthrough volumes (V{sub b}) were measured and the chromatographic efficiency (expressed as the number of theoretical plates [N]) was calculated for a range of environmental conditions. Tests involved visual observations of the change in the silica gel`s color indicator as a moist air stream was drawn through the column, measurement of the amount of a tritium tracer retained and then recovered from the silica gel, and gravimetric analysis for silica gel columns exposed in the environmental chamber.
Date: August 1, 1995
Creator: Patton, G.W.; Cooper, A.T. & Tinker, M.R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Measurement of Tritium in Gas Phase Soil Moisture and Helium-3 in Soil Gas at the Hanford Townsite and 100 K Area

Description: In 1999, soil gas samples for helium-3 measurements were collected at two locations on the Hanford Site. Eight soil gas sampling points ranging in depth from 1.5 to 9.8 m (4.9 to 32 ft) below ground surface (bgs) in two clusters were installed adjacent to well 699-41-1, south of the Hanford Townsite. Fifteen soil gas sampling points, ranging in depth from 2.1 to 3.2 m (7 to 10.4 ft) bgs, were installed to the north and east of the 100 KE Reactor. Gas phase soil moisture samples were collected using silica gel traps from all eight sampling locations adjacent to well 699-41-1 and eight locations at the 100 K Area. No detectable tritium (<240 pCi/L) was found in the soil moisture samples from either the Hanford Townsite or 100 K Area sampling points. This suggests that tritiated moisture from groundwater is not migrating upward to the sampling points and there are no large vadose zone sources of tritium at either location. Helium-3 analyses of the soil gas samples showed significant enrichments relative to ambient air helium-3 concentrations with a depth dependence consistent with a groundwater source from decay of tritium. Helium-3/helium-4 ratios (normalized to the abundances in ambient air) at the Hanford Townsite ranged from 1.012 at 1.5 m (5 ft) bgs to 2.157 at 9.8 m (32 ft) bgs. Helium-3/helium-4 ratios at the 100 K Area ranged from 0.972 to 1.131. Based on results from the 100 K Area, the authors believe that a major tritium plume does not lie within that study area. The data also suggest there may be a tritium groundwater plume or a source of helium-3 to the southeast of the study area. They recommend that the study be continued by placing additional soil gas sampling points along the perimeter road to the west and ...
Date: July 5, 2000
Creator: Olsen, KB; Patton, GW; Poreda, R; Dresel, PE & Evans, JC
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Measurement and estimated health risks of semivolatile organic compounds (PCBs, PAHs, pesticides, and phthalates) in ambient air at the Hanford Site

Description: Air samples for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), chlorinated pesticides, phthalate plasticizers, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were collected at three Hanford Site locations (300-Area South Gate, southeast of 200-East Area, and a background location near Rattlesnake Springs). Samples were collected using high-volume air samplers equipped with a glass fiber filter and polyurethane foam plug sampling train. Target compounds were extracted from the sampling trains and analyzed using capillary gas chromatography with either electron capture detection or mass selective detection. Twenty of the 28 PCB congeners analyzed were found above the detection limits, with 8 of the congeners accounting for over 80% of the average PCB concentrations. The average sum of all individual PCB congeners ranged from 500-740 pg/m{sup 3}, with little apparent difference between the sampling locations. Twenty of the 25 pesticides analyzed were found above the detection limits, with endosulfan I, endosulfan II, and methoxychlor having the highest average concentrations. With the exception of the endosulfans, all other average pesticide concentrations were below 100 pg/m{sup 3}. There was little apparent difference between the air concentrations of pesticides measured at each location. Sixteen of the 18 PAHs analyzed were found above the detection limit. Phenanthrene, fluoranthene, pyrene, fluorene, chrysene, benzo(b)fluoranthene, and naphthalene were the only PAHs with average concentrations above 100 pg/m{sup 3}. Overall, the 300 Area had higher average PAH concentrations compared to the 200-East Area and the background location at Rattlesnake Springs; however, the air concentrations at the 300-Area also are influenced by sources on the Hanford Site and from nearby communities.
Date: September 1, 1997
Creator: Patton, G.W.; Cooper, A.T.; Blanton, M.L.; Lefkovitz, L.F. & Gilfoil, T.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department