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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  

Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization coupled with time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI/TOF-MS) was used for the analysis of low-molecular phosphate compounds found in Hanford tank wastes. The mass spectra of these compounds indicate protonated peaks as well as sodium adducts. Analytical methods presently utilized for the analysis of the phosphate-related organics are both time consuming and labor intensive. A promising alternative is MALDI/TOFMS. The MALDI process produces both positive and negative ions directly and very little sample is required. In addition, there is limited sample preparation and minimal hazardous waste production.

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