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Criteria were developed for the selection of candidate wastes for testing the magnetic separation of uranium or other paramagnetic materials or both. A survey of Department of Energy (DOE) hazardous wastes was conducted to determine good candidates for bench-scale magnetic separation tests. Representatives of 21 DOE sites were contacted, and materials were identified as potential candidates for magnetic separation. To date, seven samples have been obtained and tested for separability of uranium with a bench-scale magnetic assaying device. The samples tested have been obtained from the K-1401B and K-1401C ponds in Oak Ridge, TN; from waste piles in Maywood, NJ; from North and South Ponds in Richland, WA; and from magnesium fluoride drums in Fernald, OH. The magnetic device utilized in these tests can be used in a deflective mode with dry particulate samples or a matrix-gradient mode with either dry particulate or liquid-suspended materials. Uranium separation from magnesium fluoride has shown exceptionally good performance in both wet and dry systems and could be an important application of the technology.
magnetic separation, materials separation, waste separation, hazardous waste, decontamination
Development engineer, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN