August 15, 2023

Phosphate and Fluoride Processing Options for Hanford Sludge


The Direct Feed High-Level Waste (DFHLW) strategy represents an alternative flowsheet to bypass the Hanford Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) Pretreatment Facility. Key processing functions previously captured during baseline pretreatment operations include leaching and washing prior to solids concentration and should be considered in the new DFHLW flowsheet to maximize waste feed loading, minimize high-level waste (HLW) volume, and mitigate corrosion challenges associated with vitrification of high phosphate and fluoride concentrations. The effectiveness and efficiency of sludge washing can have a substantial impact on DST space and mission duration. Two target species that benefit significantly from washing are phosphate and fluoride. Commonly present in many high-level wastes at Hanford, phosphate and fluoride are found predominately in the form of salt precipitates and can have adverse and detrimental effects on glass waste loading (Tilanus et al. 2017). Additionally, fluoride produces melter off-gas that creates corrosion risks in the off-gas system piping (Mahoney et al. 2020). Determining the solubilities of fluoride and phosphate salts, as well as the dissolution kinetics under potential HLW processing conditions will help to mitigate future operational risks and mature flowsheet technical bases.

Published: August 15, 2023


Westesen A.M., A.M. Robb, N.L. Cappella, C. Alvarez, and R.A. Peterson. 2023. Phosphate and Fluoride Processing Options for Hanford Sludge Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.