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Plasma vitrification of waste materials

United States Patent

5,637,127
June 10, 1997
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory - Visit the Technology Commercialization Program Website
This invention provides a process wherein hazardous or radioactive wastes in the form of liquids, slurries, or finely divided solids are mixed with finely divided glassformers (silica, alumina, soda, etc.) and injected directly into the plume of a non-transferred arc plasma torch. The extremely high temperatures and heat transfer rates makes it possible to convert the waste-glassformer mixture into a fully vitrified molten glass product in a matter of milliseconds. The molten product may then be collected in a crucible for casting into final wasteform geometry, quenching in water, or further holding time to improve homogeneity and eliminate bubbles.
McLaughlin; David F. (Oakmont, PA), Dighe; Shyam V. (North Huntingdon, PA), Gass; William R. (Plum Boro, PA)
Westinghouse Electric Corporation (Pittsburgh, PA)
08/ 566,238
December 1, 1995
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Department of Energy Contract No. DE-AC06-87RL10930.