Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Ali Ebadian

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

E. Bigzadeh

Third Advisor's Name

W. Kinzy Jones

Fourth Advisor's Name

T. C. Yih


Radioactive wastes

Date of Defense



In the 1960's the Department of Energy at Oak Ridge National Laboratory designed eight 50,000 gallon storage tanks for the liquid nuclear waste. Each tank was designed with its own ventilation system to purge radiolytic hydrogen and oxygen from the tank. This design induced water removal and necessitated the additional requirement of entraining radioactivity from the exiting system by the use of demisters and HEPA filters.

Up until the 1980's this was a sufficient method, via the hydrofracture process, of disposing the liquid nuclear waste. However since then, this method has been terminated and the tanks are nearing capacity. In the transfer of the liquid waste to the holding tanks, large amounts of water are used to prevent line clogging and solid build up in the pipes. Utilizing the existing system, this thesis proposes the idea of sparging air into the liquid waste and increasing the tank temperature in order to eliminate excess water. Parameters such as increasing the sparging air temperature, and dehumidifying and eliminating carbon dioxide from the sparging air, are investigated theoretically and experimentally in small scale experiments. In addition, the effects of vapor pressure lowering and its simultaneous effect on the evaporation rate are investigated through the activity coefficient of sodium nitrate, the major component of the liquid waste. Precipitate blockage formations in the sparging tube have also been addressed.





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