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Title: Yield Stress Reduction of DWPF Melter Feed Slurries

Abstract

The Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) at the Savannah River Site vitrifies High Level Waste for repository internment. The process consists of three major steps: waste pretreatment, vitrification, and canister decontamination/sealing. The HLW consists of insoluble metal hydroxides and soluble sodium salts. The pretreatment process acidifies the sludge with nitric and formic acids, adds the glass formers as glass frit, then concentrates the resulting slurry to approximately 50 weight percent (wt%) total solids. This slurry is fed to the joule-heated melter where the remaining water is evaporated followed by calcination of the solids and conversion to glass. The Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) is currently assisting DWPF efforts to increase throughput of the melter. As part of this effort, SRNL has investigated methods to increase the solids content of the melter feed to reduce the heat load required to complete the evaporation of water and allow more of the energy available to calcine and vitrify the waste. The process equipment in the facility is fixed and cannot process materials with high yield stresses, therefore increasing the solids content will require that the yield stress of the melter feed slurries be reduced. Changing the glass former added during pretreatment from anmore » irregularly shaped glass frit to nearly spherical beads was evaluated. The evaluation required a systems approach which included evaluations of the effectiveness of beads in reducing the melter feed yield stress as well as evaluations of the processing impacts of changing the frit morphology. Processing impacts of beads include changing the settling rate of the glass former (which effects mixing and sampling of the melter feed slurry and the frit addition equipment) as well as impacts on the melt behavior due to decreased surface area of the beads versus frit. Beads were produced from the DWPF process frit by fire polishing. The frit was allowed to free fall through a flame, then quenched with a water spray. Approximately 90% of the frit was converted to beads by this process. Yield stress reduction was measured by preparing melter feed slurries (using nonradioactive HLW simulants) that contain beads and comparing the yield stress with melter feed containing frit. A second set of tests was performed with beads of various diameters to determine if a decrease in diameter affected the results. Smaller particle size was shown to increase yield stress when frit is utilized. The settling rate of the beads was required to match the settling rate of the frit, therefore a decrease in particle size was anticipated. Settling tests were conducted in water, xanthan gum solutions, and in non-radioactive simulants of the HLW. The tests used time-lapse video-graphy as well as solids sampling to evaluate the settling characteristics of beads compared to frit of the same particle size. A preliminary melt rate evaluation was performed using a dry-fed Melt Rate Furnace (MRF) developed by SRNL. Preliminary evaluation of the impact of beading the frit on the frit addition system were completed by conducting flow loop testing. A recirculation loop was built with a total length of about 30 feet. Pump power, flow rate, outlet pressure, and observations of the flow in the horizontal upper section of the loop were noted. The recirculation flow was then gradually reduced and the above items recorded until settling was noted in the recirculation line. Overall, the data shows that the line pressure increased as the solids were increased for the same flow rate. In addition, the line pressure was higher for Frit 320 than the beads at the same solids level and flow. With the observations, a determination of minimum velocity to prevent settling could be done, but a graph of the line pressures versus velocity for the various tests was deemed to more objective. The graph shows that the inflection point in pressure drop is about the same for the beads and Frit 320. This indicates that the bead slurry would not require higher flows rates than frit slurry at DWPF during transfers. Another key finding was that the pump impeller was not significantly damaged by the bead slurry, while the Frit 320 slurry rapidly destroyed the impeller. Evidence of this was first observed when black particles were seen in the Frit 320 slurry being recirculated and then confirmed by a post-test inspection of the impeller. Finally, the pumping of bead slurry could be recovered even if flow is stopped. The Frit 320 slurry could not be restarted after stopping flow due to the nature of the frit to pack tightly when settled. Beads were shown to represent a significant process improvement versus frit for the DWPF process in lowering yield stress of the melter feed. Lower erosion of process equipment is another expected benefit.« less

Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Savannah River National Laboratory, Aiken, SC 29808 (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
American Institute of Chemical Engineers - AIChE, 3 Park Avenue New York, NY 10016-5991 (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
21229341
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: AIChE 2007 Spring National Meeting, Houston, TX (United States), 22-27 Apr 2007; Other Information: Country of input: France; 2 refs
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; CALCINATION; HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTES; NATIONAL DEFENSE; RADIOACTIVE WASTE FACILITIES; RADIOACTIVE WASTE PROCESSING; SAVANNAH RIVER PLANT; SLURRIES; VITRIFICATION

Citation Formats

Stone, M E, and Smith, M E. Yield Stress Reduction of DWPF Melter Feed Slurries. United States: N. p., 2007. Web.
Stone, M E, & Smith, M E. Yield Stress Reduction of DWPF Melter Feed Slurries. United States.
Stone, M E, and Smith, M E. Sun . "Yield Stress Reduction of DWPF Melter Feed Slurries". United States.
@article{osti_21229341,
title = {Yield Stress Reduction of DWPF Melter Feed Slurries},
author = {Stone, M E and Smith, M E},
abstractNote = {The Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) at the Savannah River Site vitrifies High Level Waste for repository internment. The process consists of three major steps: waste pretreatment, vitrification, and canister decontamination/sealing. The HLW consists of insoluble metal hydroxides and soluble sodium salts. The pretreatment process acidifies the sludge with nitric and formic acids, adds the glass formers as glass frit, then concentrates the resulting slurry to approximately 50 weight percent (wt%) total solids. This slurry is fed to the joule-heated melter where the remaining water is evaporated followed by calcination of the solids and conversion to glass. The Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) is currently assisting DWPF efforts to increase throughput of the melter. As part of this effort, SRNL has investigated methods to increase the solids content of the melter feed to reduce the heat load required to complete the evaporation of water and allow more of the energy available to calcine and vitrify the waste. The process equipment in the facility is fixed and cannot process materials with high yield stresses, therefore increasing the solids content will require that the yield stress of the melter feed slurries be reduced. Changing the glass former added during pretreatment from an irregularly shaped glass frit to nearly spherical beads was evaluated. The evaluation required a systems approach which included evaluations of the effectiveness of beads in reducing the melter feed yield stress as well as evaluations of the processing impacts of changing the frit morphology. Processing impacts of beads include changing the settling rate of the glass former (which effects mixing and sampling of the melter feed slurry and the frit addition equipment) as well as impacts on the melt behavior due to decreased surface area of the beads versus frit. Beads were produced from the DWPF process frit by fire polishing. The frit was allowed to free fall through a flame, then quenched with a water spray. Approximately 90% of the frit was converted to beads by this process. Yield stress reduction was measured by preparing melter feed slurries (using nonradioactive HLW simulants) that contain beads and comparing the yield stress with melter feed containing frit. A second set of tests was performed with beads of various diameters to determine if a decrease in diameter affected the results. Smaller particle size was shown to increase yield stress when frit is utilized. The settling rate of the beads was required to match the settling rate of the frit, therefore a decrease in particle size was anticipated. Settling tests were conducted in water, xanthan gum solutions, and in non-radioactive simulants of the HLW. The tests used time-lapse video-graphy as well as solids sampling to evaluate the settling characteristics of beads compared to frit of the same particle size. A preliminary melt rate evaluation was performed using a dry-fed Melt Rate Furnace (MRF) developed by SRNL. Preliminary evaluation of the impact of beading the frit on the frit addition system were completed by conducting flow loop testing. A recirculation loop was built with a total length of about 30 feet. Pump power, flow rate, outlet pressure, and observations of the flow in the horizontal upper section of the loop were noted. The recirculation flow was then gradually reduced and the above items recorded until settling was noted in the recirculation line. Overall, the data shows that the line pressure increased as the solids were increased for the same flow rate. In addition, the line pressure was higher for Frit 320 than the beads at the same solids level and flow. With the observations, a determination of minimum velocity to prevent settling could be done, but a graph of the line pressures versus velocity for the various tests was deemed to more objective. The graph shows that the inflection point in pressure drop is about the same for the beads and Frit 320. This indicates that the bead slurry would not require higher flows rates than frit slurry at DWPF during transfers. Another key finding was that the pump impeller was not significantly damaged by the bead slurry, while the Frit 320 slurry rapidly destroyed the impeller. Evidence of this was first observed when black particles were seen in the Frit 320 slurry being recirculated and then confirmed by a post-test inspection of the impeller. Finally, the pumping of bead slurry could be recovered even if flow is stopped. The Frit 320 slurry could not be restarted after stopping flow due to the nature of the frit to pack tightly when settled. Beads were shown to represent a significant process improvement versus frit for the DWPF process in lowering yield stress of the melter feed. Lower erosion of process equipment is another expected benefit.},
doi = {},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/21229341}, journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2007},
month = {7}
}

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