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Title: Glycolic acid physical properties and impurities assessment

Abstract

This document has been revised to add analytical data for fresh, 1 year old, and 4 year old glycolic acid as recommended in Revision 2 of this document. This was needed to understand the concentration of formaldehyde and methoxyacetic acid, impurities present in the glycolic acid used in Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) experiments. Based on this information, the concentration of these impurities did not change during storage. These impurities were in the glycolic acid used in the testing included in this report and in subsequent testing using DuPont (now called Chemours) supplied Technical Grade 70 wt% glycolic acid. However, these impurities were not reported in the first two versions of this report. The Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) is planning to implement a nitric-glycolic acid flowsheets to increase attainment to meet closure commitment dates during Sludge Batch 9. In fiscal year 2009, SRNL was requested to determine the physical properties of formic and glycolic acid blends.

Authors:
 [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)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1378491
Report Number(s):
SRNL-STI-2010-00314
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; DWPF; sludge; glycolic

Citation Formats

Lambert, D. P., Pickenheim, B. R., Hay, M. S., and BIBLER, N. E.. Glycolic acid physical properties and impurities assessment. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1378491.
Lambert, D. P., Pickenheim, B. R., Hay, M. S., & BIBLER, N. E.. Glycolic acid physical properties and impurities assessment. United States. doi:10.2172/1378491.
Lambert, D. P., Pickenheim, B. R., Hay, M. S., and BIBLER, N. E.. 2017. "Glycolic acid physical properties and impurities assessment". United States. doi:10.2172/1378491. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1378491.
@article{osti_1378491,
title = {Glycolic acid physical properties and impurities assessment},
author = {Lambert, D. P. and Pickenheim, B. R. and Hay, M. S. and BIBLER, N. E.},
abstractNote = {This document has been revised to add analytical data for fresh, 1 year old, and 4 year old glycolic acid as recommended in Revision 2 of this document. This was needed to understand the concentration of formaldehyde and methoxyacetic acid, impurities present in the glycolic acid used in Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) experiments. Based on this information, the concentration of these impurities did not change during storage. These impurities were in the glycolic acid used in the testing included in this report and in subsequent testing using DuPont (now called Chemours) supplied Technical Grade 70 wt% glycolic acid. However, these impurities were not reported in the first two versions of this report. The Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) is planning to implement a nitric-glycolic acid flowsheets to increase attainment to meet closure commitment dates during Sludge Batch 9. In fiscal year 2009, SRNL was requested to determine the physical properties of formic and glycolic acid blends.},
doi = {10.2172/1378491},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2017,
month = 8
}

Technical Report:

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  • The DWPF is pursuing alternative reductants/flowsheets to increase attainment to meet closure commitment dates. In fiscal year 2009, SRNL evaluated several options and recommended the further assessment of the nitric/formic/glycolic acid flowsheet. SRNL is currently performing testing with this flowsheet to support the DWPF down-select of alternate reductants. As part of the evaluation, SRNL was requested to determine the physical properties of formic and glycolic acid blends. Blends of formic acid in glycolic acid were prepared and their physical properties tested. Increasing amounts of glycolic acid led to increases in blend density, viscosity and surface tension as compared to themore » 90 wt% formic acid that is currently used at DWPF. These increases are small, however, and are not expected to present any difficulties in terms of processing. The effect of sulfur impurities in technical grade glycolic acid was studied for its impact on DWPF glass quality. While the glycolic acid specification allows for more sulfate than the current formic acid specification, the ultimate impact is expected to be on the order of 0.03 wt% sulfur in glass. Note that lower sulfur content glycolic acid could likely be procured at some increased cost if deemed necessary. A paper study on the effects of radiation on glycolic acid was performed. The analysis indicates that substitution of glycolic acid for formic acid would not increase the radiolytic production rate of H{sub 2} and cause an adverse effect in the SRAT or SME process. It has been cited that glycolic acid solutions that are depleted of O{sub 2} when subjected to large radiation doses produced considerable quantities of a non-diffusive polymeric material. Considering a constant air purge is maintained in the SRAT and the solution is continuously mixed, oxygen depletion seems unlikely, however, if this polymer is formed in the SRAT solution, the rheology of the solution may be affected and pumping of the solution may be hindered. A series of tests to determine whether the polymer will be formed is currently being outlined. The first phase will be a simple experiment where a simulated SRAT supernatant containing the 80:20 blend of glycolic - formic acid could be irradiated in the Co-60 gamma source at SRNL to a very large dose resembling the dose received by the radioactive SRAT solution after several weeks. The resulting solution could then be heated to simulate refluxing in the SRAT process. Finally a radioactive demonstration of the SRAT process should be performed in the SRNL Shielded Cells to confirm successful execution of the glycolic - formic acid flowsheet.« less
  • The Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) is pursuing alternative reductants/flowsheets to increase attainment to meet closure commitment dates. In fiscal year 2009, SRNL evaluated several options and recommended the further assessment of the nitric/formic/glycolic acid flowsheet. SRNL is currently performing testing with this flowsheet to support the DWPF down-select of alternate reductants. As part of the evaluation, SRNL was requested to determine the physical properties of formic and glycolic acid blends. Blends of formic acid in glycolic acid were prepared and their physical properties tested. Increasing amounts of glycolic acid led to increases in blend density, viscosity and surface tensionmore » as compared to the 90 wt% formic acid that is currently used at DWPF. These increases are small, however, and are not expected to present any difficulties in terms of processing. The effect of sulfur impurities in technical grade glycolic acid was studied for its impact on DWPF glass quality. While the glycolic acid specification allows for more sulfate than the current formic acid specification, the ultimate impact is expected to be on the order of 0.03 wt% sulfur in glass. Note that lower sulfur content glycolic acid could likely be procured at some increased cost if deemed necessary. A paper study on the effects of radiation on glycolic acid was performed. The analysis indicates that substitution of glycolic acid for formic acid would not increase the radiolytic production rate of H{sub 2} and cause an adverse effect in the SRAT or SME process. It has been cited that glycolic acid solutions that are depleted of O{sub 2} when subjected to large radiation doses produced considerable quantities of a non-diffusive polymeric material. Considering a constant air purge is maintained in the SRAT and the solution is continuously mixed, oxygen depletion seems unlikely, however, if this polymer is formed in the SRAT solution, the rheology of the solution may be affected and pumping of the solution may be hindered. However, an irradiation test with a simulated SRAT product supernate containing glycolic acid in an oxygen depleted atmosphere found no evidence of polymerization.« less
  • This document has been revised due to recent information that the glycolic acid used in Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) experiments contains both formaldehyde and methoxyacetic acid. These impurities were in the glycolic acid used in the testing included in this report and in subsequent testing using DuPont (now called Chemours) supplied Technical Grade 70 wt% glycolic acid. However, these impurities were not reported in earlier revisions. Additional data concerning the properties of glycolic acid have also been added to this report. The Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) is planning to implement a nitric-glycolic acid flowsheets to increase attainment tomore » meet closure commitment dates during Sludge Batch 9. In fiscal year 2009, SRNL was requested to determine the physical properties of formic and glycolic acid blends. Blends of formic acid in glycolic acid were prepared and their physical properties tested. Increasing amounts of glycolic acid led to increases in blend density, viscosity and surface tension as compared to the 90 wt% formic acid that is currently used at DWPF. These increases are small, however, and are not expected to present any difficulties in terms of processing. The effect of sulfur impurities in Technical Grade glycolic acid was studied for its impact on DWPF glass quality. While the glycolic acid specification allows for more sulfate than the current formic acid specification, the ultimate impact is expected to be on the order of 0.033 wt% sulfur in glass. Note that lower sulfur content glycolic acid could likely be procured at some increased cost if deemed necessary. A paper study on the effects of radiation on glycolic acid was performed. The analysis indicates that substitution of glycolic acid for formic acid would not increase the radiolytic production rate of H2 and cause an adverse effect in the Slurry Receipt and Adjustment Tank (SRAT) or Slurry Mix Evaporator (SME) process. It has been cited that glycolic acid solutions that are depleted of O2 when subjected to large radiation doses produced considerable quantities of a non-diffusive polymeric material. Considering a constant air purge is maintained in the SRAT and the solution is continuously mixed, oxygen depletion seems unlikely, however, if this polymer is formed in the SRAT solution, the rheology of the solution may be affected and pumping of the solution may be hindered. However, an irradiation test with a simulated SRAT product supernate containing glycolic acid in an oxygen depleted atmosphere found no evidence of polymerization.« less
  • A potential for an uncontrollable exothermic reaction between nitrate and organic salts during preparation of a high level waste melter feed has been identified. In order to examine this potential more closely, the thermal behavior of simulated neutralized current acid waste (NCAW) treated with various organic reductants was studied. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) measurements were collected on simulated waste samples and their supernates treated with organics. Organic reductants used were formic acid, glycolic acid, and oxalic acid. For comparison, samples of untreated simulant and untreated simulant with added noble metals were tested. When heated, untreated simulant samples both with andmore » without noble metals showed no exothermic behavior. All of the treated waste simulant samples showed exothermic behavior. Onset temperatures of exothermic reactions were 120 C to 210 C. Many onset temperatures, particularly those for formic acid treated samples, are well below 181 C, the estimated maximum steam coil temperature (considered to be a worst case maximum temperature for chemical process tank contents). The enthalpies of the reactions were {minus}180 {times} 10{sup {minus}3} J/Kg supernate ({minus}181 J/g) for the oxalic acid treated simulant supernate to {minus}1,150 {times} 10{sup {minus}3} J/Kg supernate ({minus}1,153 J/g) for the formic acid treated simulant supernate.« less
  • The TVA processes for the production of granular ammonium phosphate fertilizers use a preneutralizer or pipe reactor; a rotary drum ammoniator-granulator; accessory equipment for scrubbing off-gases; and equipment for drying, cooling, and sizing the product. Although the main interest in the processes has been in taking advantage of full ammoniation of the phosphoric acid for production of 18-46-0, there has been considerable interest in adapting these processes for production of monoammonium phosphate (MAP). This laboratory study was conducted to identify the solid-phase components in granular MAP, especially the forms of precipitated impurities. The first phase of the laboratory study concernedmore » the identification of solid phases in granular MAP. The second phase of this laboratory study was conducted to correlate physical properties (viscosity and pourability) of 11-33-0 suspensions with the chemical and solid-phase composition of the original MAP from which these suspensions were prepared. The identification of these fertilizer compounds by the use of polarizing light microscopy (PLM), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, and x-ray diffraction (XRD) for detailed solid-phase characterization and chemical analysis has provided a more thorough understanding of the composition of MAP fertilizer. 14 refs., 1 fig., 10 tabs.« less