LANL Installs New Membrane System for Liquid Filtration

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LANL Installs New Membrane System for Liquid Filtration

DOE’s Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) will become the first facility to use a centrifugal membrane filtration system to treat liquid low-level radioactive waste.

LANL Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility (RLWTF) is replacing its 30-year-old system with a new integrated membrane filtration system by SpinTek Systems. The system will be designed to treat 5 million to 8 million gallons of radioactive water per year generated by LANL research organizations.

The RLWTF system consists of a tubular cross-flow ultrafilter, a centrifugal microfilter and a spiral-wound reverse osmosis unit. The tubular system concentrates radioactive contaminants of the feed water 70 times and the centrifugal microfilter further concentrates this to l0,000 times. The reverse osmosis system polishes filtrate from both units.

Good Concentration of Solids

The SpinTek system was selected primarily for its centrifugal microfilter, according to LANL chemical engineer Jerry Freer. The integrated system has the ability to concentrate solids up to 30 percent, reducing the secondary waste steam and minimizing volume.

The high shear generated by the spinning membrane disks eliminates fouling, making possible the high solids concentration.

Reprinted with permission of Nuclear Waste News, February 27, 1998
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