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Title: Glass Frit Clumping And Dusting

DWPF mixes a slurry of glass frit (Frit 418) and dilute (1.5 wt%) formic acid solution with high level waste in the Slurry Mix Evaporator (SME). There would be advantages to introducing the frit in a non-slurry form to minimize water addition to the SME, however, adding completely dry frit has the potential to generate dust which could clog filters or condensers. Prior testing with another type of frit, Frit 320, and using a minimal amount of water reduced dust generation, however, the formation of hard clumps was observed. To examine options and behavior, a TTQAP [McCabe and Stone, 2013] was written to initiate tests that would address these concerns. Tests were conducted with four types of glass frit; Frit 320, DWPF Frit 418, Bekeson Frit 418 and Multi-Aspirator Frit 418. The last two frits are chemically identical to DWPF Frit 418 but smaller particles were removed by the respective vendors. Test results on Frit Clumping and Dusting are provided in this report. This report addresses the following seven questions. Short answers are provided below with more detailed answers to follow. 1. Will the addition of a small amount of water, 1.5 wt%, to dry DWPF Frit 418 greatly reducemore » the dust generation during handling at DWPF? a. Yes, a small scale test showed that adding a little water to the frit greatly reduced dust generation during handling. 2. Will the addition of small amounts of water to the frit cause clumping that will impair frit handling at DWPF? a. No, not with Frit 418. Although clumps were observed to form when 1.5 wt% water was mixed with DWPF Frit 418, then compressed and air-dried overnight, the clumps were easily crushed and did not form the hardened material noted when Frit 320 was tested. 3. What is the measured size distribution of dust generated when dry frit is handled? (This affects the feasibility and choice of processing equipment for removing the dust generating fraction of the frit before it is added to the SME.) a. The size distribution for the dust removed from fresh DWPF Frit 418 while it was being shaken in a small scale LabRAM test was measured. The median size on a volume basis was 7.6 μm and 90% of the frit particles were between 1.6 and 28 μm. The mass of dust collected using this test protocol was much less than 1% of the original frit. 4. Can the dust be removed in a small number of processing steps and without the larger frit particles continuing to spall additional dust sized particles? a. Test results using a LabRAM were inconclusive. The LaRAM performs less efficient particle size separation than the equipment used by Bekeson and Multi-Aspirator. 5. What particle size of frit is expected to create a dust problem? a. The original criterion for creating a dusting problem was those particle sizes that were readily suspended when being shaken. For that criterion calculations and Microtrac size analyses indicated that particles smaller than 37 μm are likely dust generators. Subsequently a more sophisticated criterion for dust problem was considered, particle sizes that would become suspended in the air flow patterns inside the SME and possibly plug the condenser. That size may be larger than 37 μm but has not yet been determined. 6. If particles smaller than 37 μm are removed will bulk dust generation be eliminated? a. Video-taped tests were performed using three gallons each of three types of frit 418, DWPF frit, Bekeson frit and Multi-Aspirator frit. Frit was poured through air from a height of approximately eight feet into a container half filled with water. Pouring Bekeson frit or Multi-Aspirator frit generated markedly less visible dust, but there was still a significant amount, which still has the potential of causing a dust problem. 7. Can completely dry frit be poured into the SME without having dust plug the condenser at the top of the vessel? a. Because of the complexity of air currents inside the SME and the difficulty of defensible size scaling a more prototypical test will be required to answer this question. We recommend construction of a full scale mockup of the top half of the SME with a shallow basin of water at the bottom and a simulated condenser at the top. It could be made from simple materials such as PVC pipe, cardboard and clear plastic and tested with dry frit. Depending on results, this may need to be coupled with the proposed pneumatic transfer system.« less
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
TRN: US1400098
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States