Environmental Cleanup Challenge - Uranium Recovery and Soil Cleanup
Uranium was selectively recovered from liquids, soils, and sludge containing metal precipitates, inorganic salts, sand and silt fines, debris, other contaminants, and slimes, which are very difficult to de-water. Chemical processes such as nuclear fuel manufacturing and uranium mining generate enriched and natural uranium-bearing wastes.
At the head end of this process was a floating dredge which retrieves liquids, sludge, and slimes in the form of a slurry directly from the surface impoundment at 600 gallons per minute. The dredge was equipped with a 100 horsepower sludge pump. The slurry was screened, passed through a grinder/shredder, and pumped into a 12,000 gallon feed tank. Debris from the screens are collected and disposed. The slurry was mixed in the feed tank with a turbine mixer and re-circulated to further break down the particles and enhance dissolution of uranium.
The brown was then heat treated by direct steam injection, to heat it up to 160F. The uranium was then made soluble by using a mild bleach (sodium hypochlorite) solution) strike that oxidized all of the uranium. The sodium hypochlorite oxidizes and dissolves any U(IV) present by converting it to U(VI). In addition, the heavy metal contaminants are not extracted into the liquid phase as would normally occur with aggressive oxidants such as nitric acid. Cellulose powder had to be added as a non-reactive filter aid to help filter slimy sludge to give body to the slurry. The cellulose did not react with uranium, which occurs with the use of diatomaceous earth or other inorganic filter aids. How did this all get figured out? By hard work and trial and error in the lab! Letting the data speak for itself was the key to success.
The slurry was pumped into 80 cubic foot recessed-chamber filter press that is also pre-coated with cellulose, and was then de-watered by a pressure cycle-controlled double-diaphragm pump. The clear filtrate was pumped through bag filters to a 12,000 gal filtrate collection tank.
The filtrate was processed batch-wise, and uranium was removed from the solution by special precipitation and filtration. The process was a clear success and recovered 3 metric tons of enriched uranium. The dried solids could be safely disposed. The process was patented and can now be used commercially wherever uranium-contaminated soils and sludge exist.
After seven years, the cleaned and removed lagoons were a big relief, and there was great joy to see the land returned to its natural condition. This was only possible with management support and cooperative working relationships with state and federal regulators.
Related Tags: energy, environment, recovery, power, waste, nuclear power, nuclear, uranium, cleanup, rich kimura
About Rich Kimura:
Rich Kimura is a freelance writer, married father of 4, chemical engineer, and entrepreneur. He has authored numerous technical papers, has 1 patents and 2 patents-pending, and 24 years experience in the nuclear and chemical industries. Rich started 6 micro-businesses, received financial counseling training by Crown Financial, and teaches on both subjects. To see more free tips and sharing of personal experiences in home businesses, work, money, finances, relationships, spirituality, and other topics, visit Cirrovista at www.Cirrovista.comYour Article Search Directory : Find in Articles
Recent articles in this category:
- Solar Power - A Sustainable Source Of Energy
Since time began, the sun was seen as a source of energy. Suprisingly only about 10% of solar energy
- Why Leopards Are Becoming Extinct
On the flooded marshlands of Mombo in the heart of the Okavango Delta, Botswana, there are fertile f
- The Different Kinds Of Bats
Most bats are found in warm places. Some are very strange: there are brightly colored, even spotted,
- How Bats Find Their Way In The Dark
People have always been puzzled by how bats see small insects in the dark, and how they avoid bumpin
- How Bats Live
Bats live together in caves or other dark places during the day. Just before dark, or before the sun
- At Home With Mr. Burroughs
Youth still peered out at me in spite of his crowning thatch of silvery hair when I first met John B
- Gas Fired Boiler Care Evaluation
Get Central Heating Cover And UnwindWhilst advanced heating boilers are reliable, at some point in t
- Environment Articles - India's strength and investments in Nuclear Energy Markets
Indian Nuclear Energy Markets Indian Nuclear Energy Market: An investment opportunity of US$55
- Environment Articles - Wind Energy is the fastest growing renewable energy sector in India
Wind Energy Markets in India India is likely to generate almost five times more wind energy cap
- Environment Articles - Ideas On Reusable Kids Lunch Boxes
If your kids are now in school, lunch boxes are what you need. Packing their lunch assures mothers a
Most viewed articles in this category:
- The Demand for Water and Water Privatisation
On TV recently you have Indian villagers complaining that coca cola had built a bottling plant in th
- Solar Powered Lights
All of our energy comes from the sun. Solar powered lights offer a low cost and do not pollute the e
- About Ethanol Distillation
Through the years, people have been used to oil price hikes, such that even when prices rise to a se
- Simple Mold Removal Wihtout Cleaning Mold
Are you fighting with black mold and it keeps coming back? Use the correct methods for mold cleaning
- The Business of Saving the Planet
On a sweltering day during the summer, I called my business partner Michael to ask why he thought it
- Global E-Waste Dumping - How Does It Occur?
When people "donate" or "recycle" electronics and computers, they do so with good intentions, and th
- Earth Friendly Composting
Earth Friendly Composting Municipalities throughout the United States require residents and busines
- A Unique Overview of Yellowstone National Park
When it comes to national parks, it is hard to imagine a more famous one than Yellowstone National P
- Save the Planet Article 2
This is the second article in a series that examines common house-hold products, how their manufactu
- Air Testing In The Uk Building Trade
Part L Building Regulations 2000, which came into effect on 6th April 2006, is one part of the Gover