STP1240

    Preliminary Tests of an Infrared Process Monitor for Polyethylene Encapsulation of Radioactive Waste

    Published: Jan 1996


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    Abstract

    Polyethylene encapsulation is a process that is being nvestigated for the solidification of radioactive nitrate salts at Brookhaven National Laboratory and Rocky Flats Plant. In the encapsulation process, radioactive-salt waste is mixed with polyethylene pellets, heated, and extruded as a molten stream. Upon cooling, the mixture solidifies to a monolithic waste form with excellent properties for long-term waste storage. This paper describes a novel method to monitor the composition of the salt/polymer stream as it exits the extruder.

    The monitor is based on a technique known as transient infrared spectroscopy (TIRS). The TIRS monitor is able to capture the real-time mid-infrared spectrum of the processed waste stream as it exits the extruder. The wealth of chemical information contained in a mid-infrared spectrum makes this technique very appealing for on-line monitoring and process control. Data from the monitor can be used to guide processing, minimize waste volume, and certify the composition of the final waste form.

    Keywords:

    polyethylene encapsulation, waste solidification, waste minimization, on-line monitoring, mid-infrared spectroscopy


    Author Information:

    Wright, SL
    Postdoctoral Fellow, Ames Laboratory-USDOE, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa

    Jones, RW
    Associate Chemist and Physicist, Ames Laboratory-USDOE, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa

    McClelland, JF
    Associate Chemist and Physicist, Ames Laboratory-USDOE, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa

    Kalb, PD
    Project engineer, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY


    Paper ID: STP14114S

    Committee/Subcommittee: D34.01

    DOI: 10.1520/STP14114S


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