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Title: Assessment of Methods to Consolidate Iodine-Loaded Silver-Functionalized Silica Aerogel

The U.S. Department of Energy is currently investigating alternative sorbents for the removal and immobilization of radioiodine from the gas streams in a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant. One of these new sorbents, Ag0-functionalized silica aerogels, shows great promise as a potential replacement for Ag-bearing mordenites because of its high selectivity and sorption capacity for iodine. Moreover, a feasible consolidation of iodine-loaded Ag0-functionalized silica aerogels to a durable SiO2-based waste form makes this aerogel an attractive choice for sequestering radioiodine. This report provides a preliminary assessment of the methods that can be used to consolidate iodine-loaded Ag0-functionalized silica aerogels into a final waste form. In particular, it focuses on experimental investigation of densification of as prepared Ag0-functionalized silica aerogels powders, with or without organic moiety and with or without sintering additive (colloidal silica), with three commercially available techniques: 1) hot uniaxial pressing (HUP), 2) hot isostatic pressing (HIP), and 3) spark plasma sintering (SPS). The densified products were evaluated with helium gas pycnometer for apparent density, with the Archimedes method for apparent density and open porosity, and with high-resolution scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM-EDS) for the extent of densification and distribution of individual elements. The preliminary investigation ofmore » HUP, HIP, and SPS showed that these sintering methods can effectively consolidate powders of Ag0-functionalized silica aerogel into products of near-theoretical density. Also, removal of organic moiety and adding 5.6 mass% of colloidal silica to Ag0-functionalized silica aerogel powders before processing provided denser products. Furthermore, the ram travel data for SPS indicated that rapid consolidation of powders can be performed at temperatures below 950°C.« less
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Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
Consolidation; Ag-functionalized silica aerogel; HUP; HIP; SPS