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Abstract  

Considerable attention has been focused on chelators such as ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) and N-(2-hydroxyethyl)ethylenediaminetriacetic acid (HEDTA), which form water-soluble complexes with most heavy metals. Most radionuclides are included in this class of constituents. As a result, chelator complexes have become very important environmentally because of their tendency to enhance the mobility of heavy metals through the soil and potentially contaminate groundwater. In addition, there is a correlation between chelator concentration and crust formation/gas release. The chelators are a class of compounds whose low volatility and high polarity preclude analysis by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) without prior derivatization. Waste samples from a double-shell storage tank at Hanford were derivatized with BF3/methanol and analyzed using GC/MS. Results indicate the presence of EDTA, HEDTA, nitrilotriacetic (NTA), and citric acid. Nitrosoiminodiacetic acid was identified and determined to be an artifact of the derivatization procedure; it is assumed to arise from nitrosation of iminodiacetic acid in the waste sample.

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Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Authors: S. Goheen, B. McVeety, T. Clauss, R. Lucke, M. Ligotke, J. Edwards, and J. Fruchter

Abstract  

Organic species from the headspace of one Hanford radioactive waste tank are described. Samples were collected either using a sorbent trap or a SUMMATM canister and were analyzed by gas chromatograph and mass spectrometry. The headspace contained several organic components, including alkanes, alkenes, ketones, aldehydes, organic nitriles, and chlorinated hydrocarbons. Sorbent trap samples were designed to collect only normal paraffin hydrocarbons (NPHs). A comparison of NPH data from sorbent traps and SUMMATM cans revealed results of 693 and 1320 mg/m3, NPH respectively. Significant differences were observed in NPH values when samples were collected at different times, or at different locations in the tank. These data suggest either the time of collection, or the position of the sampling device are important variables in the analysis of organic species from Hanford tanks.

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Abstract  

A technique has been developed for the qualitative determination of low-molecular-weight organic acids in radioactive, mixed hazardous wastes using thermospray liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry. A tank waste was analyzed, and the results indicated the presence of citric, glycolic, acetic, and nitrosoiminodiacetic acid (NIDA). Further investigation revealed NIDA was formed under acidic conditions with the reaction of iminodiacetic acid and the high nitrate/nitrite concentration present in the waste.

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