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Waste minimization in analytical methods

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

Determination of naturally-occurring actinides and their progeny in fresh water using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry and batch separation

Description: The objective of this report is to show the use of ICP-MS in combination with appropriate preparative techniques for the determination of actinide elements in the environment. It examines and identifies the sample introduction and preparation techniques necessary to achieve required detection limits and mitigate interferences. This volume contains a set of viewgraphs.
Date: May 1, 1995
Creator: Crain, J.S.; Yaeger, J.S.; Alvarado, J.A.; Smith, L.L.; Kiely, J.T. & Smith, F.G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Actinides at the crossroads: ICP-MS or alpha spectrometry?

Description: The report contains viewgraphs only that summarize the following: Why turn to mass spectrometry for radiochemical measurements; What might be some advantages of using ICP mass spectrometry; Sensitivity of ETV-ICP-MS relative to decay counting (versus half-life); ICP-MS instrument detection limits for dissolved actinide isotopes; Effect of dissolved solids on USN-ICP-MS analysis; Polyatomic ion interferences in ICP-MS actinide measurements; Effect of operating conditions on uranium and protonated uranium signal; ICP mass spectrometry performance in actinide determinations; Determination of actinide elements in soil; Leachable Th-230 and Pu-239 in soil as determined by ICP-MS and alpha spectrometry; Leachable U-234 and U-238 in soil by ICP-MS and alpha spectrometry; Determination of uranium isotopic composition on smears; Activity ratios (U-234/U-238) as determined by mass spectrometry and alpha spectrometry; Uranium isotopic abundances as determined by TIMS and ICP-MS; and Comparison of uranium atom percentages determined by TIMS and ICP-MS. It is concluded that isotope dilution and radiochemical preparative techniques work well in radioanalytical applications of ICP-MS; radioanalytical ICP-MS data are equivalent to data from standard methods (TIMS, alpha spectrometry); and applications in radiation protection and earth sciences are certain to expand further.
Date: December 31, 1995
Creator: Crain, J.S.; Yaeger, J.S.; Smith, F.P.; Alvarado, J.A.; Smith, L.L.; Kiely, J.T. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Secondary waste minimization in analytical methods

Description: The characterization phase of site remediation is an important and costly part of the process. Because toxic solvents and other hazardous materials are used in common analytical methods, characterization is also a source of new waste, including mixed waste. Alternative analytical methods can reduce the volume or form of hazardous waste produced either in the sample preparation step or in the measurement step. The authors are examining alternative methods in the areas of inorganic, radiological, and organic analysis. For determining inorganic constituents, alternative methods were studied for sample introduction into inductively coupled plasma spectrometers. Figures of merit for the alternative methods, as well as their associated waste volumes, were compared with the conventional approaches. In the radiological area, the authors are comparing conventional methods for gross {alpha}/{beta} measurements of soil samples to an alternative method that uses high-pressure microwave dissolution. For determination of organic constituents, microwave-assisted extraction was studied for RCRA regulated semivolatile organics in a variety of solid matrices, including spiked samples in blank soil; polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons in soils, sludges, and sediments; and semivolatile organics in soil. Extraction efficiencies were determined under varying conditions of time, temperature, microwave power, moisture content, and extraction solvent. Solvent usage was cut from the 300 mL used in conventional extraction methods to about 30 mL. Extraction results varied from one matrix to another. In most cases, the microwave-assisted extraction technique was as efficient as the more common Soxhlet or sonication extraction techniques.
Date: July 1, 1995
Creator: Green, D.W.; Smith, L.L.; Crain, J.S.; Boparai, A.S.; Kiely, J.T.; Yaeger, J.S. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

New analytical methods to minimize secondary waste

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. We have chosen to review the analytical procedures in three areas -- sample injection for inorganic analysis, dissolution of waste samples for radiochemical analysis, and sample preparation for analysis of organic constituents.
Date: July 1, 1995
Creator: Green, D.W.; Smith, L.L.; Cain, J.S.; Boparai, A.S.; Kiely, J.T.; Yaeger, J.S. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department