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Electron-Beam Purification of Waste Water


Electron-Beam Removal of Organic Admixtures from Industrial Wastewaters Including Liquid Radioactive Wastes

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-RWT/Radioactive Waste Treatment/Environment
  • ENV-WPC/Water Pollution and Control/Environment
  • CHE-RAD/Photo and Radiation Chemistry/Chemistry

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
A.N.Frumkin Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry, Russia, Moscow

Supporting institutes

  • Mining and Chemical Complex, Russia, Krasnoyarsk reg., Zheleznogorsk


  • University of North Carolina at Wilmington / Department of Chemistry, USA, NC, Wilmington\nUniversity of Missouri-Columbia / Department of Electrical Engineering, USA, MO, Columbia\nIdaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, USA, ID, Idaho Falls\nStoller Ingenieurtechnik GmbH, Germany, Dresden

Project summary

Utilization of hazardous organic compounds in industrial wastewaters is one of the important environmental problems. In particular, it concerns radioactive wastes where presence of organic compounds (such as organic acids, complexing agents, surfactants, etc.), introduced upon processing of irradiated nuclear fuel, results in significant difficulties at further stages of the treatment (e.g., upon separation of isotopes), as well as at radioactive wastes disposal coursing, for example, intense gas evolution. Therefore, in many cases it becomes necessary to remove organic compounds. Perpective method in this relation is the decomposition of organic substances under the action of intense beam of accelerated electrons. So, the main goal of the investigation proposed is to determine the possibility of practical application of such a method using the equipment available now at world market.

Up to present time, many research works have been carried out concerning radiolytic decomposition of various organic compounds in aqueous solutions including liquid industrial and radioactive wastes (or model systems). As a whole, contemporary state of researches in this field of radiation chemistry and technology is characterized, on the one hand, by a sufficiently large amount of both experimental and theoretical data on primary stages of radiolytic conversions, and, on the other hand, by practically complete absence of knowledge on mechanism of the processes at high decomposition degree when the reactions with participation of radiolysis products formed in the solution become important. There is also uninvestigated the question on features of organic compounds decomposition at high dose rates, i.e., under conditions of application of powerful electron accelerators when practical usage of such a process may become economically justified.

Therefore, in the present work it is proposed to carry out a complex study on the processes of radiolytic conversions of aqueous solutions of organic compounds, being present in industrial (including radioactive) wastes, under the action of high-intense beams of accelerated electrons. It will allow to realize the total mechanism of radiolysis of compounds under study, to draw conclusions on the efficiency of electron accelerators application for removal of organic pollutants from wastes, and, under favourable conditions, to perform large-scale carrying-out the method.

Leading institution - Institute of Physical Chemistry of Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) - during tens years performs wide researches in the field of radiation chemistry, in the course of which the nature and properties of different short-lived radiolysis products in aqueous and some organic systems, ionic liquids and solids, as well as mechanism of radiolysis of complicated organic in both aqueous and organic solutions have been investigated. The results obtained have been published and summarized in numerous papers and 13 monographs (among them, three-volume monograph by A.K.Pikaev “Modern Radiation Chemistry”). Project manager is head of Laboratory of radiation chemistry, Corresponding Member of RAS, Prof. A.K.Pikaev.

Other participating institution - Mining-Chemical Combine (Krasnoyarsk) – is one of the biggest worldwide centers on treatment of liquid radioactive wastes. Its participation in the project will give rise to a specification of parameters of radioactive wastes including the composition and concentration of organic admixtures. It will allow to evaluate the areas of application of the developed methods, their realization resulting in improvement of environmental situation near the Combine.

Foreign collaborators – Prof.W.J.Cooper and Dr.B.J.Mincher (USA) - are well-known specialists on environmental applications of ionizing radiation, and Dr.L.Schneider is prominent specialist in radioactive wastes treatment. Their participation in discussions on every stage of the work is proposed, that should promote efficient utilization of foreign specialists experience.

The project relates to category of basic-applied researches. On the one hand, after finishing the project, new knowledge will be obtained concerning mechanism of deep radiolytic decomposition of several classes of organic compounds, that will influence notably the development of researches in the field of radiation chemistry and radiation processing. On the other hand, the main technological parameters of the process of electron-beam removal of organic admixtures from liquid industrial and radioactive wastes will be determined and technical requirements for designing the respective facility (facilities) will be elaborated.

The work on the project includes solving three main tasks: 1) investigations on mechanism of radiolysis of aqueous solutions of organic compounds, being present in industrial wastes; 2) investigations on deep decomposition of organic substances under the action of accelerated electrons in the systems modelling the radioactive wastes, as well as on radiolytic processes in real radioactive wastes; 3) development of technological scheme of the process for electron-beam removal of organic admixtures from industrial (including radioactive) wastes. Realization of the tasks will be based on using such methods and approaches as pulse radiolysis method for studying intermediates of radiation-chemical processes, clarifying mechanism of radiolytical decomposition of organic pollutants and influence of the pollutant structure on efficiency of such decomposition, mathematical simulation of proceeding processes, optimization of parameters while developing technological scheme.


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