Thermal Waste Treatment

MCLinc has supported several development, demonstration, testing and evaluation studies of various thermal treatment technologies for the processing of hazardous and/or radiological wastes. These technologies include incineration, plasma torch, microwave melting and vitrification (in-situ, transportable and bulk).

The first fully licensed low-level mixed waste incinerator was designed, constructed and operated at the East Tennessee Technology Park, formerly the K-25 Site, in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. As part of the technical support organization for this site, the MCLinc staff had the opportunity to provide a wide variety of support including; material compatibility testing, process optimization, waste management, off-gas evaluation, particulate analysis, failure analysis, and health and safety studies. This understanding of thermal treatment processes led to the involvement in other DOE sponsored thermal treatment technology initiatives including: development of non-hazardous surrogates for evaluating DOE specific waste streams, evaluation of plasma torch technologies for waste processing, evaluation of microwave melting technologies, evaluation of vitrification (in-situ, transportable, and bulk) technologies for waste treatment, demonstration and evaluation of metal emissions monitors, and working with various technology and thermal treatment working groups to assist in the development of programs and protocols to meet the complex waste management needs facing the U.S. DOE and the U.S. Industrial complex.

Matrix Contaminant or Reactant Reaction or Technology
UF6 and uranium-containing solid deposits Reactions with Fluorinating Agents or Candidate Coolants
Organonitriles Thermal destruction
Incinerator stack gas Sorbents or metal partitioning studies
Aqueous Solution
Waste acid Nitrates, fissile material Treatment, blending, and accident investigation
Groundwater Uranium, mercury and other metals Zero-valent iron and novel sorbents
Groundwater Technetium-99 Zero-valent iron and novel sorbents
Process water Technetium-99 Zero-valent iron and novel sorbents
Process water Uranium Chemical treatment
Process water Sr, Cs in simulated incinerator blowdown (wastewater) Fate of metals
Process water Cyanide Fate of cyanide
Process water Metals in wastewater Process control
Process water Nickel in spent plating baths Resource recovery
Sludge or Debris
Crushed fluorescent lamps Mercury Aqueous extraction and resource recovery
Mixed waste sludge Mercury, uranium, Aqueous extraction and resource recovery
Mixed waste sludge Oil and grease Extraction
Heterogeneous debris Asbestos Chemical conversion
Heterogeneous debris Radiological surrogates Thermal treatment systems
Sludge Unknown Control of free water
Sludge Unknown Characterization
Sludge Radionuclides Stabilization
Spiked soil Heavy metals Thermal treatment; sorbents
Contaminated Soil Mercury Speciation
Contaminated soil Uranium Speciation
Reactive solids
Thorium nitrate Characterization and treatability
Radiological surrogates in simulated filtercake and sludge Grout; Polymer encapsulation; Vitrification; Microwave Sintering
Tc and U in mixed waste process sludge Grout formulations
Tc-contaminated ion exchange media Grout; polymer encapsulation