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Phase 1 of the 2013 Cold cap Evaluation Furnace (CEF) test was completed on June 3, 2013 after a 5-day round-the-clock feeding and pouring operation. The main goal of the test was to characterize the CEF off-gas produced from a nitric-formic acid flowsheet feed and confirm whether the CEF platform is capable of producing scalable off-gas data necessary for the revision of the DWPF melter off-gas flammability model; the revised model will be used to define new safety controls on the key operating parameters for the nitric-glycolic acid flowsheet feeds including total organic carbon (TOC). Whether the CEF off-gas data were scalable for the purpose of predicting the potential flammability of the DWPF melter exhaust was determined by comparing the predicted H{sub 2} and CO concentrations using the current DWPF melter off-gas flammability model to those measured during Phase 1; data were deemed scalable if the calculated fractional conversions of TOC-to-H{sub 2} and TOC-to-CO at varying melter vapor space temperatures were found to trend and further bound the respective measured data with some margin of safety. Being scalable thus means that for a given feed chemistry the instantaneous flow rates of H{sub 2} and CO in the DWPF melter exhaustmore » can be estimated with some degree of conservatism by multiplying those of the respective gases from a pilot-scale melter by the feed rate ratio. This report documents the results of the Phase 1 data analysis and the necessary calculations performed to determine the scalability of the CEF off-gas data. A total of six steady state runs were made during Phase 1 under non-bubbled conditions by varying the CEF vapor space temperature from near 700 to below 300°C, as measured in a thermowell (T{sub tw}). At each steady state temperature, the off-gas composition was monitored continuously for two hours using MS, GC, and FTIR in order to track mainly H{sub 2}, CO, CO{sub 2}, NO{sub x}, and organic gases such as CH{sub 4}. The standard deviation of the average vapor space temperature during each steady state ranged from 2 to 6°C; however, those of the measured off-gas data were much larger due to the inherent cold cap instabilities in the slurry-fed melters. In order to predict the off-gas composition at the sampling location downstream of the film cooler, the measured feed composition was charge-reconciled and input into the DWPF melter off-gas flammability model, which was then run under the conditions for each of the six Phase 1 steady states. In doing so, it was necessary to perform an overall heat/mass balance calculation from the melter to the Off-Gas Condensate Tank (OGCT) in order to estimate the rate of air inleakage as well as the true gas temperature in the CEF vapor space (T{sub gas}) during each steady state by taking into account the effects of thermal radiation on the measured temperature (T{sub tw}). The results of Phase 1 data analysis and subsequent model runs showed that the predicted concentrations of H{sub 2} and CO by the DWPF model correctly trended and further bounded the respective measured data in the CEF off-gas by over predicting the TOC-to-H{sub 2} and TOC-to-CO conversion ratios by a factor of 2 to 5; an exception was the 7X over prediction of the latter at T{sub gas} = 371°C but the impact of CO on the off-gas flammability potential is only minor compared to that of H{sub 2}. More importantly, the seemingly-excessive over prediction of the TOC-to-H{sub 2} conversion by a factor of 4 or higher at T{sub gas} < ~350°C was attributed to the conservative antifoam decomposition scheme added recently to the model and therefore is considered a modeling issue and not a design issue. At T{sub gas} > ~350°C, the predicted TOC-to-H{sub 2} conversions were closer to but still higher than the measured data by a factor of 2, which may be regarded as adequate from the safety margin standpoint. The heat/mass balance calculations also showed that the correlation between T{sub tw} and T{sub gas} in the CEF vapor space was close to that of the ½ scale SGM, whose data were taken as directly applicable to the DWPF melter and thus used to set all the parameters of the original model. Based on these results of the CEF Phase 1 off-gas and thermal data analyses, it is concluded that: (1) The thermal characteristics of the CEF vapor space are prototypic thanks to its prototypic design; and (2) The CEF off-gas data are scalable in terms of predicting the flammability potential of the DWPF melter off-gas. These results also show that the existing DWPF safety controls on the TOC and antifoam as a function of nitrate are conservative by the same order of magnitude shown by the Phase 1 data at T{sub gas} < ~350°C, since they were set at T{sub gas} = 294°C, which falls into the region of excessive conservatism for the current DWPF model in terms of predicting the TOC-to-H{sub 2} conversion. In order to remedy the overly-conservative antifoam decomposition scheme used in the current DWPF model, the data from two recent tests will be analyzed in detail in order to gain additional insights into the antifoam decomposition chemistry in the cold cap. The first test was run in a temperature-programmed furnace using both normal and spiked feeds with fresh antifoam under inert and slightly oxidizing vapor space conditions. Phase 2 of the CEF test was run with the baseline nitric-glycolic acid flowsheet feeds that contained the “processed antifoam” and those spiked with fresh antifoam in order to study the effects of antifoam concentration as well as processing history on its decomposition chemistry under actual melter conditions. The goal is to develop an improved antifoam decomposition model from the analysis of these test data and incorporate it into a new multistage cold cap model to be developed concurrently for the nitric-glycolic acid flowsheet feeds. These activities will be documented in the Phase 2 report. Finally, it is recommended that some of the conservatism in the existing DWPF safety controls be removed by improving the existing measured-vs.-true gas temperature correlation used in the melter vapor space combustion calculations. The basis for this recommendation comes from the fact that the existing correlation was developed by linearly extrapolating the SGM data taken over a relatively narrow temperature range down to the safety basis minimum of 460°C, thereby under predicting the true gas temperature considerably, as documented in this report. Specifically, the task of improving the current temperature correlation will involve; (1) performing a similar heat/mass balance analysis used in this study on actual DWPF data, (2) validating the measured-vs.-true gas temperature correlation for the CEF developed in this study against the DWPF melter heat/mass balance results, and (3) making adjustments to the CEF correlation, if necessary, before incorporating it into the DWPF safety basis calculations. The steps described here can be completed with relatively minimum efforts.« less
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