October 13, 2021

Modified Isotherm Modeling to Predict Cs Exchange with Crystalline Silicotitanate in Tank Waste Simulants


The U.S. Department of Energy is working to expedite processing of Hanford tank waste supernate at the Hanford Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant. To support this goal, Washington River Protection Solutions is designing a Tank Side Cesium Removal (TSCR) system for suspended solids and cesium (Cs/137Cs) removal from Hanford tank waste supernate. The ion exchange media selected for Cs removal at TSCR is crystalline silicotitanate (CST) that is manufactured in a nearly spherical form by Honeywell UOP LLC (UOP; Des Plaines, IL) as product IONSIV® R9140-B (Na form). The Zheng Anthony Miller (ZAM) isotherm model (Zheng et al. 1997) is a multicomponent ion exchange model used to predict the exchange of Group I metals onto CST. The ZAM isotherm has historically been used to predict Cs distribution values from Hanford and Savannah River Site (SRS) tank waste simulants. Figure S.1 summarizes model predictions from the ZAM isotherm that indicate poor prediction of Cs distribution values for simple and complex simulants with the engineered form of CST, IONSIV® R9140-B, and IONSIV® R9120-B where the solid line indicates a perfect fit by the model. The dotted lines indicate ±20% error. Batch contact testing with Hanford tank waste complex and simple simulants was used in conjunction with SRS simulants to experimentally determine Cs distribution values using a modification to the original isotherm model. The experimentally determined maximum Cs capacity for IONSIV® R9140-B CST in both the simple and complex matrices was found to be 0.53±0.3 mmoles Cs/g of CST. This value is not drastically different from the maximum Cs capacity of 0.58 mmoles Cs/g TAM-5 reported by Zheng et al. (1997). However, it is important to note that TAM-5 (commercially IONSIV® IE-910) is a powder. Hamm et al. (2002) determined that a dilution factor was needed to account for the Zr(OH)2 binder in the engineered form of CST. Hamm et al. determined that a dilution factor of 0.68 was appropriate to account for binder contribution and correct overprediction of Cs exchange on the engineered form of CST in ZAM calculations. This reduced the total capacity from 0.58 mmol/g with TAM-5 to 0.39 mmol/g for the engineered form of CST (Hamm et al. 2002). Despite substituting the experimentally determined maximum Cs capacity of 0.55 mmoles Cs/g for the literature-reported capacity of 0.39 mmoles Cs/g, it was determined that additional modifications to the model’s equilibrium rate constants were necessary in refining the isotherm model. The modified model overpredicted K+ uptake by the CST when compared to digested CST results described by Campbell et al. (2019). The modified model was further revised to omit three of the five K+ exchange equilibrium reactions described by ZAM to reduce the additional K+ loading seen by the model. Figure S.2 summarizes the revised model isotherm predictions plotted against measured Kd values.

Published: October 13, 2021


Westesen A.M., E.L. Campbell, G.J. Lumetta, S.K. Fiskum, and R.A. Peterson. 2020. Modified Isotherm Modeling to Predict Cs Exchange with Crystalline Silicotitanate in Tank Waste Simulants. PNNL-30212. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.