skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Actual Waste Demonstration of the Nitric-Glycolic Flowsheet for Sludge Batch 9 Qualification

Abstract

For each sludge batch that is processed in the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF), the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) performs qualification testing to demonstrate that the sludge batch is processable. Testing performed by the Savannah River National Laboratory has shown glycolic acid to be effective in replacing the function of formic acid in the DWPF chemical process. The nitric-glycolic flowsheet reduces mercury, significantly lowers the catalytic generation of hydrogen and ammonia which could allow purge reduction in the Sludge Receipt and Adjustment Tank (SRAT), stabilizes the pH and chemistry in the SRAT and the Slurry Mix Evaporator (SME), allows for effective rheology adjustment, and is favorable with respect to melter flammability. In order to implement the new flowsheet, SRAT and SME cycles, designated SC-18, were performed using a Sludge Batch (SB) 9 slurry blended from SB8 Tank 40H and Tank 51H samples. The SRAT cycle involved adding nitric and glycolic acids to the sludge, refluxing to steam strip mercury, and dewatering to a targeted solids concentration. Data collected during the SRAT cycle included offgas analyses, process temperatures, heat transfer, and pH measurements. The SME cycle demonstrated the addition of glass frit and the replication of six canister decontamination additions.more » The demonstration concluded with dewatering to a targeted solids concentration. Data collected during the SME cycle included offgas analyses, process temperatures, heat transfer, and pH measurements. Slurry and condensate samples were collected for subsequent analysis« less

Authors:
;  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River National Lab. (SRNL)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River National Lab. (SRNL)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Environmental Management (EM)
OSTI Identifier:
1323879
Report Number(s):
SRNL-STI-2016-00327
TRN: US1601910
DOE Contract Number:
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; GLYCOLIC ACID; FLOWSHEETS; TANKS; SLURRIES; SAVANNAH RIVER PLANT; NITRIC ACID; SLUDGES; MERCURY; CONCENTRATION RATIO; HEAT TRANSFER; WATER REMOVAL; AMMONIA; PH VALUE; WASTE PROCESSING; HYDROGEN; GASEOUS WASTES; ABUNDANCE; CHEMICAL ANALYSIS; FLAMMABILITY; FEASIBILITY STUDIES; CHEMICAL REACTIONS; CONDENSATES; RHEOLOGY; DWPF; sludge; qualification; sludge batch 9; tank farm

Citation Formats

J. D. Newell, Pareizs, J. M., Martino, C. J., Reboul, S. H., Coleman, C. J., Edwards, T. B., and Johnson, F. C. Actual Waste Demonstration of the Nitric-Glycolic Flowsheet for Sludge Batch 9 Qualification. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.2172/1323879.
J. D. Newell, Pareizs, J. M., Martino, C. J., Reboul, S. H., Coleman, C. J., Edwards, T. B., & Johnson, F. C. Actual Waste Demonstration of the Nitric-Glycolic Flowsheet for Sludge Batch 9 Qualification. United States. doi:10.2172/1323879.
J. D. Newell, Pareizs, J. M., Martino, C. J., Reboul, S. H., Coleman, C. J., Edwards, T. B., and Johnson, F. C. 2016. "Actual Waste Demonstration of the Nitric-Glycolic Flowsheet for Sludge Batch 9 Qualification". United States. doi:10.2172/1323879. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1323879.
@article{osti_1323879,
title = {Actual Waste Demonstration of the Nitric-Glycolic Flowsheet for Sludge Batch 9 Qualification},
author = {J. D. Newell and Pareizs, J. M. and Martino, C. J. and Reboul, S. H. and Coleman, C. J. and Edwards, T. B. and Johnson, F. C.},
abstractNote = {For each sludge batch that is processed in the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF), the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) performs qualification testing to demonstrate that the sludge batch is processable. Testing performed by the Savannah River National Laboratory has shown glycolic acid to be effective in replacing the function of formic acid in the DWPF chemical process. The nitric-glycolic flowsheet reduces mercury, significantly lowers the catalytic generation of hydrogen and ammonia which could allow purge reduction in the Sludge Receipt and Adjustment Tank (SRAT), stabilizes the pH and chemistry in the SRAT and the Slurry Mix Evaporator (SME), allows for effective rheology adjustment, and is favorable with respect to melter flammability. In order to implement the new flowsheet, SRAT and SME cycles, designated SC-18, were performed using a Sludge Batch (SB) 9 slurry blended from SB8 Tank 40H and Tank 51H samples. The SRAT cycle involved adding nitric and glycolic acids to the sludge, refluxing to steam strip mercury, and dewatering to a targeted solids concentration. Data collected during the SRAT cycle included offgas analyses, process temperatures, heat transfer, and pH measurements. The SME cycle demonstrated the addition of glass frit and the replication of six canister decontamination additions. The demonstration concluded with dewatering to a targeted solids concentration. Data collected during the SME cycle included offgas analyses, process temperatures, heat transfer, and pH measurements. Slurry and condensate samples were collected for subsequent analysis},
doi = {10.2172/1323879},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 9
}

Technical Report:

Save / Share:
  • For each sludge batch that is processed in the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF), the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) performs qualification testing to demonstrate that the sludge batch is processable. Based on the results of this actual-waste qualification and previous simulant studies, SRNL recommends implementation of the nitric-glycolic acid flowsheet in DWPF. Other recommendations resulting from this demonstration are reported in section 5.0.
  • An actual-waste Sludge Batch 9 qualification run with the nitric-glycolic flowsheet (SC-18) was performed in FY16. In order to supplement the knowledge base for the nitric-glycolic flowsheet, additional testing was performed on the product slurries, condensates, and intermediate samples from run SC-18.
  • Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) was requested by Savannah River Remediation (SRR) to qualify the next batch of sludge – Sludge Batch 9 (SB9). Current practice is to prepare sludge batches in Tank 51 by transferring sludge to Tank 51 from other tanks. The sludge is washed and transferred to Tank 40, the current Defense Waste Process Facility (DWPF) feed tank. Prior to sludge transfer from Tank 51 to Tank 40, the Tank 51 sludge must be qualified. SRNL qualifies the sludge in multiple steps. First, a Tank 51 sample is received, then characterized, washed, and again characterized. SRNL thenmore » demonstrates the DWPF Chemical Process Cell (CPC) flowsheet with the sludge. The final step of qualification involves chemical durability measurements of glass fabricated in the DWPF CPC demonstrations. In past sludge batches, SRNL had completed the DWPF demonstration with Tank 51 sludge. For SB9, SRNL has been requested to process a blend of Tank 51 and Tank 40 at a targeted ratio of 44% Tank 51 and 56% Tank 40 on an insoluble solids basis.« less
  • Testing was completed to develop a Sludge Batch 9 (SB9) nitric-glycolic acid chemical process flowsheet for the Defense Waste Processing Facility’s (DWPF) Chemical Process Cell (CPC). CPC simulations were completed using SB9 sludge simulant, Strip Effluent Feed Tank (SEFT) simulant and Precipitate Reactor Feed Tank (PRFT) simulant. Ten sludge-only Sludge Receipt and Adjustment Tank (SRAT) cycles and four SRAT/Slurry Mix Evaporator (SME) cycles, and one actual SB9 sludge (SRAT/SME cycle) were completed. As has been demonstrated in over 100 simulations, the replacement of formic acid with glycolic acid virtually eliminates the CPC’s largest flammability hazards, hydrogen and ammonia. Recommended processingmore » conditions are summarized in section 3.5.1. Testing demonstrated that the interim chemistry and Reduction/Oxidation (REDOX) equations are sufficient to predict the composition of DWPF SRAT product and SME product. Additional reports will finalize the chemistry and REDOX equations. Additional testing developed an antifoam strategy to minimize the hexamethyldisiloxane (HMDSO) peak at boiling, while controlling foam based on testing with simulant and actual waste. Implementation of the nitric-glycolic acid flowsheet in DWPF is recommended. This flowsheet not only eliminates the hydrogen and ammonia hazards but will lead to shorter processing times, higher elemental mercury recovery, and more concentrated SRAT and SME products. The steady pH profile is expected to provide flexibility in processing the high volume of strip effluent expected once the Salt Waste Processing Facility starts up.« less
  • Savannah River Remediation (SRR) is evaluating changes to its current Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) flowsheet to improve processing cycle times. This will enable the facility to support higher canister production while maximizing waste loading. Higher throughput is needed in the Chemical Process Cell (CPC) since the installation of the bubblers into the melter has increased melt rate. Due to the significant maintenance required for the DWPF gas chromatographs (GC) and the potential for production of flammable quantities of hydrogen, reducing or eliminating the amount of formic acid used in the CPC is being developed. Earlier work at Savannah Rivermore » National Laboratory has shown that replacing formic acid with an 80:20 molar blend of glycolic and formic acids has the potential to remove mercury in the SRAT without any significant catalytic hydrogen generation. This report summarizes the research completed to determine the feasibility of processing without formic acid. In earlier development of the glycolic-formic acid flowsheet, one run (GF8) was completed without formic acid. It is of particular interest that mercury was successfully removed in GF8, no formic acid at 125% stoichiometry. Glycolic acid did not show the ability to reduce mercury to elemental mercury in initial screening studies, which is why previous testing focused on using the formic/glycolic blend. The objective of the testing detailed in this document is to determine the viability of the nitric-glycolic acid flowsheet in processing sludge over a wide compositional range as requested by DWPF. This work was performed under the guidance of Task Technical and Quality Assurance Plan (TT&QAP). The details regarding the simulant preparation and analysis have been documented previously.« less