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Process for Removing Cadmium From Scrap Metal

Description: A process for the recovery of a metal, in particular, cadmium contained in scrap, in a stable form. The process comprises the steps of mixing the cadmium-containing scrap with an ammonium carbonate solution, preferably at least a stoichiometric amount of ammonium carbonate, and/or free ammonia, and an oxidizing agent to form a first mixture so that the cadmium will react with the ammonium carbonate to form a water-soluble ammine complex; evaporating the first mixture so that ammine complex dissociates from the first mixture leaving carbonate ions to react with the cadmium and form a second mixture that includes cadmium carbonate; optionally adding water to the second mixture to form a third mixture; adjusting the pH of the third mixture to the acid range whereby the cadmium carbonate will dissolve; and adding at least a stoichiometric amount of sulfide, preferably in the form of hydrogen sulfide or an aqueous ammonium sulfide solution, to the third mixture to precipitate cadmium sulfide. This mixture of sulfide is then preferably digested by heating to facilitate precipitation of large particles of cadmium sulfide. The scrap may be divided by shredding or breaking up to exposure additional surface area. Finally, the precipitated cadmium sulfide can be mixed with glass formers and vitrified for permanent disposal.
Date: January 1, 1994
Creator: Kronberg, James W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Biocarrier Composition for and Method of Degrading Pollutants

Description: The present invention relates to biocarrier compositions that attract and bond pollutant-degrading antigens that will degrade the pollutants. Biocarriers are known generally as a variety of inert or semi-inert compounds or structures having the ability to sequester (attract), hold and biomagnify (enhance) specific microorganisms within their structure. Glass or polystyrene beads are the most well known biocarriers. The biocarrier, which is preferably in the form of glass microspheres, is coated with an antibody or group of antibodies that attract and react specifically with certain pollutant-degrading antigens. The antibody, once bonded to the biocarrier, is used by the composition to attract and bond those pollutant-degrading antigens. Each antibody is specific for an antigen that is specific for a given pollutant. The resulting composition is subsequently exposed to an environment contaminated with pollutants for degradation. In the preferred use, the degrading composition is formed and then injected directly into or near a plume or source of contamination.
Date: January 1, 1994
Creator: Fliermans, Carl B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Method and apparatus for determining material structural integrity

Description: Disclosed are a nondestructive method and apparatus for determining the structural integrity of materials by combining laser vibrometry with damping analysis to determine the damping loss factor. The method comprises the steps of vibrating the area being tested over a known frequency range and measuring vibrational force and velocity vs time over the known frequency range. Vibrational velocity is preferably measured by a laser vibrometer. Measurement of the vibrational force depends on the vibration method: if an electromagnetic coil is used to vibrate a magnet secured to the area being tested, then the vibrational force is determined by the coil current. If a reciprocating transducer is used, the vibrational force is determined by a force gauge in the transducer. Using vibrational analysis, a plot of the drive point mobility of the material over the preselected frequency range is generated from the vibrational force and velocity data. Damping loss factor is derived from a plot of the drive point mobility over the preselected frequency range using the resonance dwell method and compared with a reference damping loss factor for structural integrity evaluation.
Date: January 1, 1994
Creator: Pechersky, M. J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Process for treating alkaline wastes for vitrification

Description: According to its major aspects and broadly stated, the present invention is a process for treating alkaline waste materials, including high level radioactive wastes, for vitrification. The process involves adjusting the pH of the wastes with nitric acid, adding formic acid (or a process stream containing formic acid) to reduce mercury compounds to elemental mercury and MnO{sub 2} to the Mn(II) ion, and mixing with class formers to produce a melter feed. The process minimizes production of hydrogen due to noble metal-catalyzed formic acid decomposition during, treatment, while producing a redox-balanced feed for effective melter operation and a quality glass product. An important feature of the present invention is the use of different acidifying and reducing, agents to treat the wastes. The nitric acid acidifies the wastes to improve yield stress and supplies acid for various reactions; then the formic acid reduces mercury compounds to elemental mercury and MnO{sub 2}) to the Mn(II) ion. When the pH of the waste is lower, reduction of mercury compounds and MnO{sub 2}) is faster and less formic acid is needed, and the production of hydrogen caused by catalytically-active noble metals is decreased.
Date: January 1, 1994
Creator: Hsu, Chia-lin W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Optical temperature sensor using thermochromic semiconductors

Description: Optical thermometry is a growing technological field which exploits the ability of certain materials to change their optical properties with temperature. A subclass of such materials are those which change their color as a reversible and reproducible function of temperature. These materials are thermochromic. This invention is a composition to measure temperature utilizing thermochromic semiconductors.
Date: January 1, 1994
Creator: Kronberg, J.W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Method for compression of data using single pass LZSS and run-length encoding

Description: A method used preferably with LZSS-based compression methods for compressing a stream of digital data. The method uses a run-length encoding scheme especially suited for data strings of identical data bytes having large run-lengths, such as data representing scanned images. The method reads an input data stream to determine the length of the data strings. Longer data strings are then encoded in one of two ways depending on the length of the string. For data strings having run-lengths less than 18 bytes, a cleared offset and the actual run-length are written to an output buffer and then a run byte is written to the output buffer. For data strings of 18 bytes or longer, a set offset and an encoded run-length are written to the output buffer and then a run byte is written to the output buffer. The encoded run-length is written in two parts obtained by dividing the run length by a factor of 255. The first of two parts of the encoded run-length is the quotient; the second part is the remainder. Data bytes that are not part of data strings of sufficient length are written directly to the output buffer.
Date: January 1, 1994
Creator: Berlin, Gary J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Plutonium dissolution process

Description: A two-step process for dissolving Pu metal is disclosed in which two steps can be carried out sequentially or simultaneously. Pu metal is exposed to a first mixture of 1.0-1.67 M sulfamic acid and 0.0025-0.1 M fluoride, the mixture having been heated to 45-70 C. The mixture will dissolve a first portion of the Pu metal but leave a portion of the Pu in an oxide residue. Then, a mineral acid and additional fluoride are added to dissolve the residue. Alternatively, nitric acid between 0.05 and 0.067 M is added to the first mixture to dissolve the residue as it is produced. Hydrogen released during the dissolution is diluted with nitrogen.
Date: January 1, 1994
Creator: Vest, Michael A.; Fink, Samuel D.; Karraker, David G.; Moore, Edwin N. & Holcomb, H. Perry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Apparatus and method for phosphate-accelerated bioremediation

Description: An apparatus and method for supplying a vapor-phase nutrient to contaminated soil for in situ bioremediation. The apparatus includes a housing adapted for containing a quantity of the liquid nutrient, a conduit in fluid communication with the interior of the housing, means for causing a gas to flow through the conduit, and means for contacting the gas with the liquid so that a portion thereof evaporates and mixes with the gas. The mixture of gas and nutrient vapor is delivered to the contaminated site via a system of injection and extraction wells configured to the site. The mixture has a partial pressure of vaporized nutrient that is no greater than the vapor pressure of the liquid. If desired, the nutrient and/or the gas may be heated to increase the vapor pressure and the nutrient concentration of the mixture. Preferably, the nutrient is a volatile, substantially nontoxic and nonflammable organic phosphate that is a liquid at environmental temperatures, such as triethyl phosphate or tributyl phosphate.
Date: January 1994
Creator: Looney, B. B.; Phelps, T. J.; Hazen, T. C.; Pfiffner, S. M.; Lombard, K. H. & Borthen, J. W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Composition for detecting uranyl

Description: The present invention relates to an indicator composition for use in spectrophotometric detection of a substance in a solution, and a method for making the composition. Useful indicators are sensitive to the particular substance being measured, but are unaffected by the fluid and other chemical species that may be present in the fluid. Optical indicators are used to measure the uranium concentration of process solutions in facilities for extracting uranium from ores, production of nuclear fuels, and reprocessing of irradiated fuels. The composition comprises an organohalide covalently bonded to an indicator for the substance, in such a manner that the product is itself an indicator that provides increased spectral resolution for detecting the substance. The indicator is preferably arsenazo III and the organohalide is preferably cyanuric chloride. These form a composition that is ideally suited for detecting uranyl.
Date: January 1, 1994
Creator: Baylor, Lewis C. & Stephens, Susan M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Hydrogen storage composition and method

Description: A hydrogen storage composition based on a metal hydride dispersed in an aerogel prepared by a sol-gel process. The starting material for the aerogel is an organometallic compound, including the alkoxysilanes, organometals of the form M(OR){sub X} where R is an organic ligand of the form C{sub n}H{sub 2n+1}, and organometals of the form MO{sub x}Ry where R is an alkyl group, where M is an oxide-forming metal, n, x and y are integers and y is two less than the valence of M. A sol is prepared by combining the starting material, alcohol, water, and an acid. The sol is conditioned to the proper viscosity and a hydride in the form of a fine powder is added. The mixture is polymerized and dried under supercritical conditions. The final product is a composition having a hydride uniformly dispersed throughout an inert, stable and highly porous matrix. It is capable of absorbing up to 30 motes of hydrogen per kilogram at room temperature and pressure, rapidly and reversibly. Hydrogen absorbed by the composition can be readily be recovered by heat or evacuation.
Date: January 1, 1994
Creator: Wicks, G.G. & Heung, L.K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Flexible ultrasonic pipe inspection apparatus

Description: Pipe crawlers, pipe inspection {open_quotes}rabbits{close_quotes} and similar vehicles are widely used for inspecting the interior surfaces of piping systems, storage tanks and process vessels for damaged or flawed structural features. This paper describes the design of a flexible, modular ultrasonic pipe inspection apparatus.
Date: January 1, 1994
Creator: Jenkins, C.F. & Howard, B.D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Immersible solar heater for fluids

Description: An immersible solar heater is described comprising a light-absorbing panel attached to a frame for absorbing heat energy from the light and transferring the absorbed heat energy directly to the fluid in which the heater is immersed. The heater can be used to heat a swimming pool, for example, and is held in position and at a preselected angle by a system of floats, weights and tethers so that the panel can operate efficiently. A skid can be used in one embodiment to prevent lateral movement of the heater along the bottom of the pool. Alternative embodiments include different arrangements of the weights, floats and tethers and methods for making the heater.
Date: January 1, 1994
Creator: Hazen, T. C. & Fliermans, C. B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Method for recovering materials from waste

Description: A method for recovering metals from metals-containing wastes, a vitrifying the remainder of the wastes for disposal. Metals-containing wastes such as circuit boards, cathode ray tubes, vacuum tubes, transistors and so forth, are broken up and placed in a suitable container. The container is heated by microwaves to a first temperature in the range of approximately 300--800{degrees}C to combust organic materials in the waste, then heated further to a second temperature in the range of approximately 1000--1550{degrees}C at which temperature glass formers present in the waste will cause it to melt and vitrify. Low-melting-point metals such as tin and aluminum can be recovered after organics combustion is substantially complete. Metals with higher melting points, such as gold, silver and copper, can be recovered from the solidified product or separated from the waste at their respective melting points. Network former-containing materials can be added at the start of the process to assist vitrification.
Date: January 1, 1994
Creator: Wicks, G.G.; Clark, D.E. & Schulz, R.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Superconducting thermoelectric generator

Description: Thermoelectricity is produced by applying a temperature differential to dissimilar electrically conducting or semiconducting materials, thereby producing a voltage that is proportional to the temperature difference. Thermoelectric generators use this effect to directly convert heat into electricity; however, presently-known generators have low efficiencies due to the production of high currents which in turn cause large resistive heating losses. Some thermoelectric generators operate at efficiencies between 4% and 7% in the 800{degrees} to 1200{degrees}C range. According to its major aspects and bradly stated, the present invention is an apparatus and method for producing electricity from heat. In particular, the invention is a thermoelectric generator that juxtaposes a superconducting material and a semiconducting material - so that the superconducting and the semiconducting materials touch - to convert heat energy into electrical energy without resistive losses in the temperature range below the critical temperature of the superconducting material. Preferably, an array of superconducting material is encased in one of several possible configurations within a second material having a high thermal conductivity, preferably a semiconductor, to form a thermoelectric generator.
Date: January 1, 1994
Creator: Metzger, J.D. & El-Genk, M.S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Optical apparatus and method for sensing uranyl

Description: An optical sensing device for uranyl and other substances, a method for making an optical sensing device and a method for chemically binding uranyl and other indicators to glass, quartz, cellulose and similar substrates. The indicator, such as arsenazo III, is immobilized on the substrate using a chemical binding process. The immobilized arsenazo III causes uranyl from a fluid sample to bind irreversibly to the substrate at its active sites, thus causing absorption of a portion of light transmitted through the substrate. Determination of the amount of light absorbed, using conventional means, yields the concentration of uranyl present in the sample fluid. The binding of uranyl on the substrate can be reversed by subsequent exposure of the substrate to a solution of 2,6-pyridinedicarboxylic acid. The chemical binding process is suitable for similarly binding other indicators, such as bromocresol green.
Date: January 1, 1994
Creator: Baylor, L.C. & Buchanan, B.R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department