Date of Award

12-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Chemical Engineering

Advisor

Gooding, Charles H.

Committee Member

Husson , Scott M.

Committee Member

Bruce , David A.

Abstract

A scrubber was required to abate a waste stream containing chlorine gas created in the electrolytic dissolution step of the aqueous polishing process at the Mixed Oxides Fuel Fabrication Facility at Savannah River Site, South Carolina. A method of absorption that utilized caustic sodium sulfite as the scrubbing agent was studied for implementation in the process. This method was found to be highly efficient with respect to process requirements, and it was also found to provide enhanced performance over the more conventional method of chlorine scrubbing which uses only aqueous sodium hydroxide as a reagent. Sulfite provides an additional advantage in that it scavenges other potential pollutants such as hypochlorite and prevents their desorption back into the gas stream. Absorption was found to be rate-limited by liquid phase mass transfer at low to medium sulfite concentrations. The process is believed to be rate-limited by gas phase mass transfer at higher sulfite concentrations, although specific conditions for gas phase control could not be determined. A significant amount of the sulfite was found to be consumed by an undesirable oxidation side reaction. The process was found to be mildly exothermic, but heat effects were not detrimental to system performance.

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