Total carbon determination of radioactive coal-bearing sludge at the Savannah River Site

NUCL 75

Amy A. Ekechukwu, Charles J. Coleman, and Damon R. click. Savannah River Technology Center, Westinghouse Savannah River Company, Building 773-A, Aiken, SC 29801
We have developed a method for measuring total carbon (TC) in simulated sludge containing insoluble organic particulates in the form of coal. The analysis is complicated by the presence of carbon compounds (such as coal) which are difficult to combust and by the difficulty in obtaining a reproducible sample. Based on experiments performed on a variety of sludge matrices, the following were determined:

Thermal oxidation at a minimum of 900 degrees centigrade is required to completely effect oxidation of the coal; persulfate oxidation and thermal oxidation below 900 degrees proved ineffective. Reproducible data can be obtained on undiluted sludge (well mixed immediately prior to analysis) or on diluted samples that have been micronized (crushed) prior to dilution. Reproducible data could not be obtained on diluted samples that had not been crushed prior to dilution.

Results on simiulated sludge samples as well as radioactive sludge will be presented.