Description: The US Department of Energy (DOE) will require a large number of waste characterizations over a multi-year period to accomplish the Department`s goals in environmental restoration and waste management. Estimates vary, but two million analyses annually are expected. The waste generated by the analytical procedures used for characterizations is a significant source of new DOE waste. Success in reducing the volume of secondary waste and the costs of handling this waste would significantly decrease the overall cost of this DOE program. Selection of appropriate analytical methods depends on the intended use of the resultant data. It is not always necessary to use a high-powered analytical method, typically at higher cost, to obtain data needed to make decisions about waste management. Indeed, for samples taken from some heterogeneous systems, the meaning of high accuracy becomes clouded if the data generated are intended to measure a property of this system. Among the factors to be considered in selecting the analytical method are the lower limit of detection, accuracy, turnaround time, cost, reproducibility (precision), interferences, and simplicity. Occasionally, there must be tradeoffs among these factors to achieve the multiple goals of a characterization program. The purpose of the work described here is to add waste minimization to the list of characteristics to be considered. In this paper the authors present results of modifying analytical methods for waste characterization to reduce both the cost of analysis and volume of secondary wastes. Although tradeoffs may be required to minimize waste while still generating data of acceptable quality for the decision-making process, they have data demonstrating that wastes can be reduced in some cases without sacrificing accuracy or precision.
Date: May 1, 1995
Creator: Green, D.W.; Smith, L.L.; Crain, J.S.; Boparai, A.S.; Kiely, J.T. & Yaeger, J.S. Schilling, J.B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department