skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: Results of Characterization and Retrieval Testing on Tank 241-C-109 Heel Solids

Eight samples of heel solids from tank 241-C-109 were delivered to the 222-S Laboratory for characterization and dissolution testing. After being drained thoroughly, one-half to two-thirds of the solids were off-white to tan solids that, visually, were fairly evenly graded in size from coarse silt (30-60 &#956;m) to medium pebbles (8-16 mm). The remaining solids were mostly strongly cemented aggregates ranging from coarse pebbles (16-32 mm) to fine cobbles (6-15 cm) in size. Solid phase characterization and chemical analysis indicated that the air-dry heel solids contained &#8776;58 wt% gibbsite [Al(OH){sub 3}] and &#8776;37 wt% natrophosphate [Na{sub 7}F(PO{sub 4}){sub 2}·19H{sub 2}O]. The strongly cemented aggregates were mostly fine-grained gibbsite cemented with additional gibbsite. Dissolution testing was performed on two test samples. One set of tests was performed on large pieces of aggregate solids removed from the heel solids samples. The other set of dissolution tests was performed on a composite sample prepared from well-drained, air-dry heel solids that were crushed to pass a 1/4-in. sieve. The bulk density of the composite sample was 2.04 g/mL. The dissolution tests included water dissolution followed by caustic dissolution testing. In each step of the three-step water dissolution tests, a volume of water approximately equalmore » to 3 times the initial volume of the test solids was added. In each step, the test samples were gently but thoroughly mixed for approximately 2 days at an average ambient temperature of 25 °C. The caustic dissolution tests began with the addition of sufficient 49.6 wt% NaOH to the water dissolution residues to provide &#8776;3.1 moles of OH for each mole of Al estimated to have been present in the starting composite sample and &#8776;2.6 moles of OH for each mole of Al potentially present in the starting aggregate sample. Metathesis of gibbsite to sodium aluminate was then allowed to proceed over 10 days of gentle mixing of the test samples at temperatures ranging from 26-30 °C. The metathesized sodium aluminate was then dissolved by addition of volumes of water approximately equal to 1.3 times the volumes of caustic added to the test slurries. Aluminate dissolution was allowed to proceed for 2 days at ambient temperatures of &#8776;29 °C. Overall, the sequential water and caustic dissolution tests dissolved and removed 80.0 wt% of the tank 241-C-109 crushed heel solids composite test sample. The 20 wt% of solids remaining after the dissolution tests were 85-88 wt% gibbsite. If the density of the residual solids was approximately equal to that of gibbsite, they represented &#8776;17 vol% of the initial crushed solids composite test sample. In the water dissolution tests, addition of a volume of water &#8776;6.9 times the initial volume of the crushed solids composite was sufficient to dissolve and recover essentially all of the natrophosphate present. The ratio of the weight of water required to dissolve the natrophosphate solids to the estimated weight of natrophosphate present was 8.51. The Environmental Simulation Program (OLI Systems, Inc., Morris Plains, New Jersey) predicts that an 8.36 w/w ratio would be required to dissolve the estimated weight of natrophosphate present in the absence of other components of the heel solids. Only minor amounts of Al-bearing solids were removed from the composite solids in the water dissolution tests. The caustic metathesis/aluminate dissolution test sequence, executed at temperatures ranging from 27-30 °C, dissolved and recovered &#8776;69 wt% of the gibbsite estimated to have been present in the initial crushed heel solids composite. This level of gibbsite recovery is consistent with that measured in previous scoping tests on the dissolution of gibbsite in strong caustic solutions. Overall, the sequential water and caustic dissolution tests dissolved and removed 80.3 wt% of the tank 241-C-109 aggregate solids test sample. The residual solids were 92-95 wt% gibbsite. Only a minor portion (&#8776;4.5 wt%) of the aggregate solids was dissolved and recovered in the water dissolution test. Other than some smoothing caused by continuous mixing, the aggregates were essentially unaffected by the water dissolution tests. During the caustic metathesis/aluminate dissolution test sequence, &#8776;81 wt% of the gibbsite estimated to have been present in the aggregate solids was dissolved and recovered. The pieces of aggregate were significantly reduced in size but persisted as distinct pieces of solids. The increased level of gibbsite recovery, as compared to that for the crushed heel solids composite, suggests that the way the gibbsite solids and caustic solution are mixed is a key determinant of the overall efficiency of gibbsite dissolution and recovery. The liquids recovered after the caustic dissolution tests on the crushed solids composite and the aggregate solids were observed for 170 days. No precipitation of gibbsite was observed. The distribution of particle sizes in the residual solids recovered following the dissolution tests on the crushed heel solids composite was characterized. Wet sieving indicated that 21.4 wt% of the residual solids were >710 &#956;m in size, and laser light scattering indicated that the median equivalent spherical diameter in the <710-&#956;m solids was 35 &#956;m. The settling behavior of the residual solids following the large-scale dissolution tests was also studied. When dispersed at a concentration of &#8776;1 vol% in water, &#8776;24 wt% of the residual solids settled at a rate >0.43 in./s; &#8776;68 wt% settled at rates between 0.02 and 0.43 in./s; and &#8776;7 wt% settled slower than 0.02 in./s.« less
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
LAB-RPT-12-00004 Rev 0
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
HNF (Hanford Site (HNF), Richland, WA (United States))
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Environmental Management (EM)
Country of Publication:
United States