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Title: DWPF Melter Off-Gas Flammability Assessment for Sludge Batch 9

Abstract

The slurry feed to the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) melter contains several organic carbon species that decompose in the cold cap and produce flammable gases that could accumulate in the off-gas system and create potential flammability hazard. To mitigate such a hazard, DWPF has implemented a strategy to impose the Technical Safety Requirement (TSR) limits on all key operating variables affecting off-gas flammability and operate the melter within those limits using both hardwired/software interlocks and administrative controls. The operating variables that are currently being controlled include; (1) total organic carbon (TOC), (2) air purges for combustion and dilution, (3) melter vapor space temperature, and (4) feed rate. The safety basis limits for these operating variables are determined using two computer models, 4-stage cold cap and Melter Off-Gas (MOG) dynamics models, under the baseline upset scenario - a surge in off-gas flow due to the inherent cold cap instabilities in the slurry-fed melter.

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Environmental Management (EM)
OSTI Identifier:
1262322
Report Number(s):
SRNL-STI-2016-00318
TRN: US1601602
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC09-08SR22470
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; VAPORS; FLAMMABILITY; MITIGATION; SLURRIES; WASTE PROCESSING; COMBUSTION; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; GAS FLOW; EVALUATION; HAZARDS; SLUDGES; OFF-GAS SYSTEMS; DILUTION; INSTABILITY; INTERLOCKS; SURGES; CERAMIC MELTERS; DWPF; SB9; melter off-gas flammability

Citation Formats

Choi, A. S. DWPF Melter Off-Gas Flammability Assessment for Sludge Batch 9. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.2172/1262322.
Choi, A. S. DWPF Melter Off-Gas Flammability Assessment for Sludge Batch 9. United States. doi:10.2172/1262322.
Choi, A. S. Mon . "DWPF Melter Off-Gas Flammability Assessment for Sludge Batch 9". United States. doi:10.2172/1262322. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1262322.
@article{osti_1262322,
title = {DWPF Melter Off-Gas Flammability Assessment for Sludge Batch 9},
author = {Choi, A. S.},
abstractNote = {The slurry feed to the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) melter contains several organic carbon species that decompose in the cold cap and produce flammable gases that could accumulate in the off-gas system and create potential flammability hazard. To mitigate such a hazard, DWPF has implemented a strategy to impose the Technical Safety Requirement (TSR) limits on all key operating variables affecting off-gas flammability and operate the melter within those limits using both hardwired/software interlocks and administrative controls. The operating variables that are currently being controlled include; (1) total organic carbon (TOC), (2) air purges for combustion and dilution, (3) melter vapor space temperature, and (4) feed rate. The safety basis limits for these operating variables are determined using two computer models, 4-stage cold cap and Melter Off-Gas (MOG) dynamics models, under the baseline upset scenario - a surge in off-gas flow due to the inherent cold cap instabilities in the slurry-fed melter.},
doi = {10.2172/1262322},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Jul 11 00:00:00 EDT 2016},
month = {Mon Jul 11 00:00:00 EDT 2016}
}

Technical Report:

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  • Glycolic acid and sugar are being considered as potential candidates to substitute for much of the formic acid currently being added to the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) melter feed as a reductant. A series of small-scale melter tests were conducted at the Vitreous State Laboratory (VSL) in January 2011 to collect necessary data for the assessment of the impact of these alternate reductants on the melter off-gas flammability. The DM10 melter with a 0.021 m{sup 2} melt surface area was run with three different feeds which were prepared at SRNL based on; (1) the baseline formic/nitric acid flowsheet, (2)more » glycolic/formic/nitric acid flowsheet, and (3) sugar/formic/nitric acid flowsheet - these feeds will be called the baseline, glycolic, and sugar flowsheet feeds, respectively, hereafter. The actual addition of sugar to the sugar flowsheet feed was made at VSL before it was fed to the melter. For each feed, the DM10 was run under both bubbled (with argon) and non-bubbled conditions at varying melter vapor space temperatures. The goal was to lower its vapor space temperature from nominal 500 C to less than 300 C at 50 C increments and maintain steady state at each temperature at least for one hour, preferentially for two hours, while collecting off-gas data including CO, CO{sub 2}, and H{sub 2} concentrations. Just a few hours into the first test with the baseline feed, it was discovered that the DM10 vapor space temperature would not readily fall below 350 C simply by ramping up the feed rate as the test plan called for. To overcome this, ambient air was introduced directly into the vapor space through a dilution air damper in addition to the natural air inleakage occurring at the operating melter pressure of -1 inch H{sub 2}O. A detailed description of the DM10 run along with all the data taken is given in the report issued by VSL. The SRNL personnel have analyzed the DM10 data and identified 25 steady state periods lasting from 32 to 92 minutes for all six melter runs (bubbled and non-bubbled runs for each of the three feeds). The steady state selection was made by limiting the standard deviation of the average vapor space temperature readings from two bare thermocouples (TT-03 and TT-05) to less than 5 C in most cases at a constant feed rate. The steady state data thus selected were mass and heat balanced and the off-gas data were re-baselined to assess the flammability potential of each feed under the DWPF melter operating conditions. Efforts were made to extract as much information out of the data as possible necessary to extend the applicability of the existing baseline cold cap and off-gas combustion models to the glycolic and sugar flowsheet feeds. This report details the outcome of these activities.« less
  • An assessment has been made to evaluate the impact on the DWPF melter off-gas flammability of replacing the current solvent used in the Modular Caustic-Side Solvent Extraction Process Unit (MCU) process with the Next Generation Solvent (NGS-MCU) and blended solvent. The results of this study showed that the concentrations of nonvolatile carbon and hydrogen of the current solvent in the Slurry Mix Evaporator (SME) product would both be about 29% higher than their counterparts of the NGS-MCU and blended solvent in the absence of guanidine partitioning. When 6 ppm of guanidine (TiDG) was added to the effluent transfer to DWPFmore » to simulate partitioning for the NGS-MCU and blended solvent cases and the concentration of Isopar{reg_sign} L in the effluent transfer was controlled below 87 ppm, the concentrations of nonvolatile carbon and hydrogen of the NGS-MCU and blended solvent were still about 12% and 4% lower, respectively, than those of the current solvent. It is, therefore, concluded that as long as the volume of MCU effluent transfer to DWPF is limited to 15,000 gallons per Sludge Receipt and Adjustment Tank (SRAT)/SME cycle and the concentration of Isopar{reg_sign} L in the effluent transfer is controlled below 87 ppm, using the current solvent assumption of 105 ppm Isopar{reg_sign} L or 150 ppm solvent in lieu of NGS-MCU or blended solvent in the DWPF melter off-gas flammability assessment is conservative for up to an additional 6 ppm of TiDG in the effluent due to guanidine partitioning. This report documents the calculations performed to reach this conclusion.« less
  • Several key operating variables affecting off-gas flammability in a slurry-fed radioactive waste glass melter are discussed, and the methods used to prevent potential off-gas flammability are presented. Two models have played a central role in developing such methods. The first model attempts to describe the chemical events occurring during the calcining and melting steps using a multistage thermodynamic equilibrium approach, and it calculates the compositions of glass and calcine gases. Volatile feed components and calcine gases are fed to the second model which then predicts the process dynamics of the entire melter off-gas system including off-gas flammability under both steadymore » state and various transient operating conditions. Results of recent simulation runs are also compared with available data« less
  • DWPF Engineering personnel requested that a new minimum backup film cooler air flow rate, which will meet the off-gas safety basis limits for both normal and seismic sludge-only operations, be calculated when the air purge to the borescope cameras is isolated from the melter. Specifically, it was requested that the latest calculations which were used to set the off-gas flammability safety bases for the sludge batch 2 and 3 feeds be revised, while maintaining all other process variables affecting off-gas flammability such as total organic carbon (TOC), feed rate, melter air purges, and vapor space temperature at their current respectivemore » maximum or minimum limits. Before attempting to calculate the new minimum backup film cooler air flow, some of the key elements of the combustion model were reviewed, and it was determined that the current minimum backup film cooler air flow of 233 lb/hr is adequate to satisfy the off-gas flammability safety bases for both normal and seismic operations i n the absence of any borescope camera air purge. It is, therefore, concluded that there is no need to revise the reference E-7 calculations. This conclusion is in essence based on the fact that the current minimum backup film cooler air flow was set to satisfy the minimum combustion air requirement under the worst-case operating scenario involving a design basis earthquake during which all the air purges not only to the borescope cameras but to the seal pot are presumed to be lost due to pipe ruptures. The minimum combustion air purge is currently set at 150 per cent of the stoichiometric air flow required to combust 3 times the normal flow of flammable gases. The DWPF control strategy has been that 100 per cent of the required minimum combustion air is to be provided by the controlled air purge through the backup film cooler alone.« less
  • The Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) has been working with the Savannah River Remediation (SRR) Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) in the development and implementation of an additional strategy for confidently satisfying the flammability controls for DWPF’s melter operation. An initial strategy for implementing the operational constraints associated with flammability control in DWPF was based upon an analytically determined carbon concentration from antifoam. Due to the conservative error structure associated with the analytical approach, its implementation has significantly reduced the operating window for processing and has led to recurrent Slurry Mix Evaporator (SME) and Melter Feed Tank (MFT) remediation. Tomore » address the adverse operating impact of the current implementation strategy, SRR issued a Technical Task Request (TTR) to SRNL requesting the development and documentation of an alternate strategy for evaluating the carbon contribution from antifoam. The proposed strategy presented in this report was developed under the guidance of a Task Technical and Quality Assurance Plan (TTQAP) and involves calculating the carbon concentration from antifoam based upon the actual mass of antifoam added to the process assuming 100% retention. The mass of antifoam in the Additive Mix Feed Tank (AMFT), in the Sludge Receipt and Adjustment Tank (SRAT), and in the SME is tracked by mass balance as part of this strategy. As these quantities are monitored, the random and bias uncertainties affecting their values are also maintained and accounted for. This report documents: 1) the development of an alternate implementation strategy and associated equations describing the carbon concentration from antifoam in each SME batch derived from the actual amount of antifoam introduced into the AMFT, SRAT, and SME during the processing of the batch. 2) the equations and error structure for incorporating the proposed strategy into melter off-gas flammability assessments. Sample calculations of the system are also included in this report. Please note that the system developed and documented in this report is intended as an alternative to the current, analytically-driven system being utilized by DWPF; the proposed system is not intended to eliminate the current system. Also note that the system developed in this report to track antifoam mass in the AMFT, SRAT, and SME will be applicable beyond just Sludge Batch 8. While the model used to determine acceptability of the SME product with respect to melter off-gas flammability controls must be reassessed for each change in sludge batch, the antifoam mass tracking methodology is independent of sludge batch composition and as such will be transferable to future sludge batches.« less