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Title: The Biodenitrification Development Program

Abstract

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) conducted a pilot-plant program in support of the fluidized-bed biodenitrification system currently under construction by Westinghouse, Inc., at the Feed Materials Production Center (FMPC) in Fernald, Ohio. Two 0.1-m-diam bioreactors in series, each with approx.6.1 m of active bed height, and a single 12.2-m-high, 0.1-m-diam fluidized-bed bioreactor were operated to simulate the larger bioreactors (four 1.2-m-diam bioreactors each with 12.2 m of active bed height to be operated in series) under construction at Fernald. These pilot systems were used to verify the Fernald design as well as to identify and attempt to solve any problems that might affect the full-scale system. Results of studies with FMPC wastewater having nitrate levels as high as 10 g/L indicate that the Fernald bioreactors probably cannot operate on untreated wastewater because of its high calcium concentration. When the pilot-plant system was tested with raw wastewater having calcium concentrations ranging from 100 to 450 mg/L, the bioreactors ceased to function within 5 weeks after startup due to the buildup of calcium carbonate on the bioparticles. However, Fernald wastewater has been softened at ORNL and successfully biodenitrified. The results obtained to date indicate that the biodenitrification rate used in the designmore » of the Fernald bioreactors, 32 kg (NO/sub 3/-N)/d x m/sup 3/, may be achieved or exceeded; however, pH adjustment within the bioreactors may be necessary. The temperature rise may be as high as 4/sup 0/C in each bioreactor due to the exothermic nature of the biodenitrification reaction. Under limiting adiabatic conditions, the overall temperature rise through four columns could be 15 to 20/sup 0/C. Thus, some kind of temperature control will probably be necessary to achieve optimal performance. 12 refs., 21 figs., 6 tabs.« less

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab., TN (USA)
OSTI Identifier:
6899848
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 6899848; Legacy ID: DE87006014
Report Number(s):
ORNL/TM-10239
ON: DE87006014
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-84OR21400
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: Portions of this document are illegible in microfiche products. Original copy available until stock is exhausted
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; FEED MATERIALS PLANTS; WASTE WATER; BIODEGRADATION; DENITRATION; WATER TREATMENT; BIOREACTORS; EXPERIMENTAL DATA; FLUIDIZED BEDS; ORNL; PH VALUE; PILOT PLANTS; TEMPERATURE EFFECTS; CHEMICAL REACTIONS; DATA; DECOMPOSITION; FUNCTIONAL MODELS; HYDROGEN COMPOUNDS; INDUSTRIAL PLANTS; INFORMATION; LIQUID WASTES; NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS; NUCLEAR FACILITIES; NUMERICAL DATA; OXYGEN COMPOUNDS; US AEC; US DOE; US ERDA; US ORGANIZATIONS; WASTES; WATER 050400* -- Nuclear Fuels-- Feed Processing

Citation Formats

Walker, J.F. Jr., Helfrich, M.V., and Donaldson, T.L.. The Biodenitrification Development Program. United States: N. p., 1987. Web. doi:10.2172/6899848.
Walker, J.F. Jr., Helfrich, M.V., & Donaldson, T.L.. The Biodenitrification Development Program. United States. doi:10.2172/6899848.
Walker, J.F. Jr., Helfrich, M.V., and Donaldson, T.L.. Sun . "The Biodenitrification Development Program". United States. doi:10.2172/6899848. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/6899848.
@article{osti_6899848,
title = {The Biodenitrification Development Program},
author = {Walker, J.F. Jr. and Helfrich, M.V. and Donaldson, T.L.},
abstractNote = {Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) conducted a pilot-plant program in support of the fluidized-bed biodenitrification system currently under construction by Westinghouse, Inc., at the Feed Materials Production Center (FMPC) in Fernald, Ohio. Two 0.1-m-diam bioreactors in series, each with approx.6.1 m of active bed height, and a single 12.2-m-high, 0.1-m-diam fluidized-bed bioreactor were operated to simulate the larger bioreactors (four 1.2-m-diam bioreactors each with 12.2 m of active bed height to be operated in series) under construction at Fernald. These pilot systems were used to verify the Fernald design as well as to identify and attempt to solve any problems that might affect the full-scale system. Results of studies with FMPC wastewater having nitrate levels as high as 10 g/L indicate that the Fernald bioreactors probably cannot operate on untreated wastewater because of its high calcium concentration. When the pilot-plant system was tested with raw wastewater having calcium concentrations ranging from 100 to 450 mg/L, the bioreactors ceased to function within 5 weeks after startup due to the buildup of calcium carbonate on the bioparticles. However, Fernald wastewater has been softened at ORNL and successfully biodenitrified. The results obtained to date indicate that the biodenitrification rate used in the design of the Fernald bioreactors, 32 kg (NO/sub 3/-N)/d x m/sup 3/, may be achieved or exceeded; however, pH adjustment within the bioreactors may be necessary. The temperature rise may be as high as 4/sup 0/C in each bioreactor due to the exothermic nature of the biodenitrification reaction. Under limiting adiabatic conditions, the overall temperature rise through four columns could be 15 to 20/sup 0/C. Thus, some kind of temperature control will probably be necessary to achieve optimal performance. 12 refs., 21 figs., 6 tabs.},
doi = {10.2172/6899848},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Feb 01 00:00:00 EST 1987},
month = {Sun Feb 01 00:00:00 EST 1987}
}

Technical Report:

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  • An Ion Chromatographic procedure was developed for the determination of eight anions in FMPC process wastewater being treated to remove nitrate in a biodenitrification reactor. The anions of interest were: F/sup /minus//, CO/sub 3//sup =/, Cl/sup /minus//, NO/sub 2//sup /minus//, Br/sup /minus//, NO/sub 3//sup /minus//, PO/sub 4//sup /minus/3/ and SO/sub 4//sup =/. The procedure employed an electronically suppressed Waters Company, Inc. (Waters) ILC-1 instrument equipped with an IC-PAK anion analytical column to perform the separation. A Waters 840 data station controlled the instrument, evaluated the data, and printed out the results. The procedure was applied to the analysis of samplesmore » from laboratory scale development reactors and a plant scale demonstration process employing two, twenty feet bioreactor towers. The analyses obtained were satisfactory for process control and process evaluation purposes. 6 refs., 36 figs., 5 tabs.« less
  • Approximately 30 kilograms of nitrates per day are discarded in the raffinates (acid wastes) of the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant's X-705 Uranium Recovery and Decontamination Facility. A biodenitrification process employing continuous-flow, stirred-bed reactors has been successfully used to remove nitrates from similar acid wastes at the Oak Ridge Y-12 Plant. Laboratory studies have been made at Portsmouth to characterize the X-705 raffinates and to test the stirred-bed biodenitrification process on such raffinates. Raffinates which had been previously characterized were pumped through continuous-flow, stirred-bed, laboratory-scale reactors. Tests were conducted over a period of 146 days and involved variations in composition, mixingmore » requirements, and the fate of several metal ions in the raffinates. Tests results show that 20 weight percent nitrates were reduced to a target nitrate effluent concentration of 100 ..mu..g/ml with a 99.64 percent efficiency. However, the average denitrification rate achieved was only 33% of that demonstrated with the Y-12 stirred-bed system. These low rates were probably due to the toxic effects of heavy metal ions on the denitrifying bacteria. Also, most of the uranium in the raffinate feed remained in the biomass and calcite, which collected in the reactor. This could cause criticality problems. For these reasons, it was decided not to make use of the stirred-bed bioreactor at Portsmouth. Instead, the biodenitrification installation now planned will use fluidized bed columns whose performance will be the subject of a subsequent report.« less
  • One plan for stabilization of the Solar Pond waters and sludges at Rocky Flats Plant (RFP), is evaporation and cement solidification of the salts to stabilize heavy metals and radionuclides for land disposal as low-level mixed waste. It has been reported that nitrate (NO{sub 3}{sub {minus}}) salts may interfere with cement stabilization of heavy metals and radionuclides. Therefore, biological nitrate removal (denitrification) may be an important pretreatment for the Solar Pond wastewaters at RFP, improving the stability of the cement final waste form, reducing the requirement for cement (or pozzolan) additives and reducing the volume of cemented low-level mixed wastemore » requiring ultimate disposal. A laboratory investigation of the performance of the Sequencing Batch Reactor (SBR) activated sludge process developed for nitrate removal from a synthetic brine typical of the high-nitrate and high-salinity wastewaters in the Solar Ponds at Rocky Flats Plant was carried out at the Environmental Engineering labs at the University of Colorado, Boulder, between May 1, 1994 and October 1, 1995.« less
  • Process wastewater and sludges were accumulated on site in solar evaporation ponds during operations at the Department of Energy's Rocky Flats Plant (DOE/RF). Because of the extensive use of nitric acid in the processing of actinide metals, the process wastewater has high concentrations of nitrate. Solar pond waters at DOE/RF contain 300-60,000 mg NO{sub 3}{sup {minus}}/L. Additionally, the pond waters contain varying concentrations of many other aqueous constituents, including heavy metals, alkali salts, carbonates, and low level radioactivity. Solids, both from chemical precipitation and soil material deposition, are also present. Options for ultimate disposal of the pond waters are currentlymore » being evaluated and include stabilization and solidification (S/S) by cementation. Removal of nitrates can enhance a wastes amenability to S/S, or can be a unit operation in another treatment scheme. Nitrate removal is also a concern for other sources of pollution at DOE/RF, including contaminated groundwater collected by interceptor trench systems. Finally, nitrate pollution is a problem at many other DOE facilities where actinide metals were processed. The primary objective of this investigation was to optimize biological denitrification of solar pond waters with nitrate concentrations of 300--2,100 mg NO{sub 3}{sup {minus}}/L to below the drinking water standard of 45 mg NO{sub 3}{sup {minus}}/L (10 mg N/L). The effect of pH upon process stability and denitrification rate was determined. In addition, the effect Cr(VI) on denitrification and fate of Cr(VI) in the presence of denitrifying bacteria was evaluated.« less
  • Decontamination and uranium recovery operations at Portsmouth generate raffinates which contain nitrate. Nitrate discharges are now within EPA limits. However, more stringent limits go into effect on October 2, 1982. These limits cannot be met by present operating methods without seriously restricting decontamination and recovery operations. A biodentrification process will therefore be used at Portsmouth to reduce the nitrate concentration to acceptable levels. Pilot plant studies using a fluid bed reactor were carried out at ORNL. Process operating parameters were characterized and design criteria for the full-scale facility which is to be built at Portsmouth were devised. When operations weremore » completed, the pilot plant, equipped with a 20-inch bioreactor, was shipped to Portsmouth. It will be installed during FY-1982, and will be operated until the full-scale facility is built. It will allow GAT to meet EPA limts and will accommodate 9000 liters of raffinate per month. The projected post CIP/CUP raffinate generation rate is 15,000 liters per month. Recovery operations will be limited to some extent until the fullscale biodenitrification facility is built.« less