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(244g) Hydraulic Permeability of Resorcinol-Formaldehyde Ion-Exchange Resin - Effects of Oxygen Uptake and Radiation

Taylor, P. A., Oak Ridge National Laboratory

An ion-exchange process, using spherical resorcinol-formaldehyde (RF) resin is the baseline process for removing cesium from the dissolved salt solution in the high-level waste tanks at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Hanford site in Washington State. The RF resin is also being evaluated for use in the proposed Small Column Ion Exchange (SCIX) system, which is an alternative treatment option at DOE's Savannah River Site (SRS)in South Carolina. Testing at ORNL will determine the impact of radiation exposure and oxygen uptake by the RF resin on the hydraulic permeability of the resin. Samples of the resin will be removed periodically to measure physical properties (bead size and compressibility) and cesium capacity.

The proposed full-scale treatment system at Hanford, the Waste Treatment Plant (WTP), will use an ion-exchange column containing nominally 680 gal of resin, which will treat 30 gpm of waste solution. The ion-exchange column is designed for a typical pressure drop of 6 psig, with a maximum of 9.7 psig.

The lab-scale column is 3-in. clear PVC pipe and is prototypic of the proposed Hanford column. The fluid velocity in the lab-scale test will be much higher than for the full-scale column, in order to generate the maximum pressure drop expected in that column (9.7 psig). The frictional drag from this high velocity will produce similar forces on the resin in the lab-scale column as would be expected at the bottom of the full-scale column. The chemical changes in the resin caused by radiation exposure and oxygen uptake are expected to cause physical changes in the resin that could reduce the bed porosity and reduce the hydraulic permeability of the resin bed. These changes will be monitored by measuring the pressure drop through the lab-scale column and by measuring the physical properties of samples of the resin.

The test loop with the lab-scale column is currently being fabricated, and operation will start by late May. Testing will be completed by the end of August.


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