Description: The objective of the treatability test was to evaluate the efficacy of using polyphosphate injections to treat uranium-contaminated groundwater in situ. A test site consisting of an injection well and 15 monitoring wells was installed in the 300 Area near the process trenches that had previously received uranium-bearing effluents. This report summarizes the work on the polyphosphate injection project, including bench-scale laboratory studies, a field injection test, and the subsequent analysis and interpretation of the results. Previous laboratory tests have demonstrated that when a soluble form of polyphosphate is injected into uranium-bearing saturated porous media, immobilization of uranium occurs due to formation of an insoluble uranyl phosphate, autunite [Ca(UO2)2(PO4)2•nH2O]. These tests were conducted at conditions expected for the aquifer and used Hanford soils and groundwater containing very low concentrations of uranium (10-6 M). Because autunite sequesters uranium in the oxidized form U(VI) rather than forcing reduction to U(IV), the possibility of re-oxidation and subsequent re-mobilization is negated. Extensive testing demonstrated the very low solubility and slow dissolution kinetics of autunite. In addition to autunite, excess phosphorous may result in apatite mineral formation, which provides a long-term source of treatment capacity. Phosphate arrival response data indicate that, under site conditions, the polyphosphate amendment could be effectively distributed over a relatively large lateral extent, with wells located at a radial distance of 23 m (75 ft) reaching from between 40% and 60% of the injection concentration. Given these phosphate transport characteristics, direct treatment of uranium through the formation of uranyl-phosphate mineral phases (i.e., autunite) could likely be effectively implemented at full field scale. However, formation of calcium-phosphate mineral phases using the selected three-phase approach was problematic. Although amendment arrival response data indicate some degree of overlap between the reactive species and thus potential for the formation of calcium-phosphate mineral phases (i.e., apatite ...
Date: June 30, 2009
Creator: Vermeul, Vincent R.; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Fritz, Brad G.; Fruchter, Jonathan S.; Mackley, Rob D.; Newcomer, Darrell R. et al.
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Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department