September 16, 2020

A Composition-Based Approach for Predicting Hanford Tank Waste Liquid Viscosity

Matthew Fountain
Arich Fuher
Richard Daniel


Liquid viscosity is an important Hanford waste physical property that governs, in part, the performance of key Hanford flowsheet unit operations and processes, including waste filtration, ion exchange, pumping and transport, and mixing. Evaluation and optimization of these processes rely on liquid viscosity correlations subject to substantial error (at least ±60%) that can lead to overly conservative, and sometimes physically unachievable, limits for validation and operation of these unit operations. The current liquid viscosity correlations used for the Hanford flowsheet attempt to capture the effects of specific waste chemistry (namely, the speciation of various salts) on liquid viscosity using liquid density alone. It is postulated that the ±60% or greater error associated with these “density-based” liquid viscosity predictions is driven in part by the inability of waste density to capture the full impact of waste chemistry on liquid viscosity, and that improved prediction accuracy could be achieved by implementing a composition-based approach to evaluating liquid viscosity for Hanford wastes. Recent publications, namely those of Lencka et al. (1998), Hu (2004), and Laliberté (2007a), provide correlations and comprehensive, consolidated databases of single-salt solution viscosity that enable composition-based predictions for Hanford-type liquids (i.e., concentrated multi-component aqueous electrolyte solutions).

Revised: September 16, 2020 | Published: April 2, 2018


Daniel R.C., A. Fuher, and M.S. Fountain. 2018. A Composition-Based Approach for Predicting Hanford Tank Waste Liquid Viscosity. PNNL-27475. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.