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Title: Cast Stone Oxidation Front Evaluation: Preliminary Results For Samples Exposed To Moist Air

The rate of oxidation is important to the long-term performance of reducing salt waste forms because the solubility of some contaminants, e.g., technetium, is a function of oxidation state. TcO{sub 4}{sup -} in the salt solution is reduced to Tc(IV) and has been shown to react with ingredients in the waste form to precipitate low solubility sulfide and/or oxide phases. Upon exposure to oxygen, the compounds containing Tc(IV) oxidize to the pertechnetate ion, Tc(VII)O{sub 4}{sup -}, which is very soluble. Consequently the rate of technetium oxidation front advancement into a monolith and the technetium leaching profile as a function of depth from an exposed surface are important to waste form performance and ground water concentration predictions. An approach for measuring contaminant oxidation rate (effective contaminant specific oxidation rate) based on leaching of select contaminants of concern is described in this report. In addition, the relationship between reduction capacity and contaminant oxidation is addressed. Chromate (Cr(VI) was used as a non-radioactive surrogate for pertechnetate, Tc(VII), in Cast Stone samples prepared with 5 M Simulant. Cast Stone spiked with pertechnetate was also prepared and tested. Depth discrete subsamples spiked with Cr were cut from Cast Stone exposed to Savannah River Site (SRS)more » outdoor ambient temperature fluctuations and moist air. Depth discrete subsamples spiked with Tc-99 were cut from Cast Stone exposed to laboratory ambient temperature fluctuations and moist air. Similar conditions are expected to be encountered in the Cast Stone curing container. The leachability of Cr and Tc-99 and the reduction capacities, measured by the Angus-Glasser method, were determined for each subsample as a function of depth from the exposed surface. The results obtained to date were focused on continued method development and are preliminary and apply to the sample composition and curing / exposure conditions described in this report. The Cr oxidation front (depth to which soluble Cr was detected) for the Cast Stone sample exposed for 68 days to ambient outdoor temperatures and humid air (total age of sample was 131 days) was determined to be about 35 mm below the top sample surface exposed. The Tc oxidation front, depth at which Tc was insoluble, was not determined. Interpretation of the results indicates that the oxidation front is at least 38 mm below the exposed surface. The sample used for this measurement was exposed to ambient laboratory conditions and humid air for 50 days. The total age of the sample was 98 days. Technetium appears to be more easily oxidized than Cr in the Cast Stone matrix. The oxidized forms of Tc and Cr are soluble and therefore leachable. Longer exposure times are required for both the Cr and Tc spiked samples to better interpret the rate of oxidation. Tc spiked subsamples need to be taken further from the exposed surface to better define and interpret the leachable Tc profile. Finally Tc(VII) reduction to Tc(IV) appears to occur relatively fast. Results demonstrated that about 95 percent of the Tc(VII) was reduced to Tc(IV) during the setting and very early stage setting for a Cast Stone sample cured 10 days. Additional testing at longer curing times is required to determine whether additional time is required to reduce 100 % of the Tc(VII) in Cast Stone or whether the Tc loading exceeded the ability of the waste form to reduce 100 % of the Tc(VII). Additional testing is required for samples cured for longer times. Depth discrete subsampling in a nitrogen glove box is also required to determine whether the 5 percent Tc extracted from the subsamples was the result of the sampling process which took place in air. Reduction capacity measurements (per the Angus-Glasser method) performed on depth discrete samples could not be correlated with the amount of chromium or technetium leached from the depth discrete subsamples or with the oxidation front inferred from soluble chromium and technetium (i.e., effective Cr and Tc oxidation fronts). Residual reduction capacity in the oxidized region of the test samples indicates that the remaining reduction capacity is not effective in re-reducing Cr(VI) or Tc(VII) in the presence of oxygen. Depth discrete sampling and leaching is a useful for evaluating Cast Stone and other chemically reducing waste forms containing ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBFS) or other reduction / sequestration reagents to control redox sensitive contaminant chemistry and leachability in the near surface disposal environment. Based on results presented in this report, reduction capacity measured by the Angus-Glasser Ce(IV) method is not an appropriate or meaningful parameter for determining or predicting Tc and Cr oxidation / retentions, speciation, or solubilities in cementitious materials such as Cast Stone. A model for predicting Tc(IV) oxidation to soluble Tc(VII) should consider the waste form porosity (pathway for oxygen ingress), oxygen source, and the contaminant specific oxidation rates and oxidation fronts. Depth discrete sampling of materials exposed to realistic conditions in combination with short term leaching of crushed samples has potential for advancing the understanding of factors influencing performance. This information can be used to support conceptual model development.« less
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
TRN: US1400108
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States