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Vitrification of organics-containing wastes

United States Patent

5,662,579
September 2, 1997
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Savannah River National Laboratory - Visit the Technology Transfer Website
A process for stabilizing organics-containing waste materials and recovering metals therefrom, and a waste glass product made according to the process. Vitrification of wastes such as organic ion exchange resins, electronic components and the like can be accomplished by mixing at least one transition metal oxide with the wastes, and, if needed, glass formers to compensate for a shortage of silicates or other glass formers in the wastes. The transition metal oxide increases the rate of oxidation of organic materials in the wastes to improve the composition of the glass-forming mixture: at low temperatures, the oxide catalyzes oxidation of a portion of the organics in the waste; at higher temperatures, the oxide dissolves and the resulting oxygen ions oxidize more of the organics; and at vitrification temperatures, the metal ions conduct oxygen into the melt to oxidize the remaining organics. In addition, the transition metal oxide buffers the redox potential of the glass melt so that metals such as Au, Pt, Ag, and Cu separate from the melt in the metallic state and can be recovered. After the metals are recovered, the remainder of the melt is allowed to cool and may subsequently be disposed of. The product has good leaching resistance and can be disposed of in an ordinary landfill, or, alternatively, used as a filler in materials such as concrete, asphalt, brick and tile.
Bickford; Dennis F. (Aiken, SC)
The United States of America as represented by the United States (Washington, DC)
08/ 408,157
March 21, 1995
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC09-89SR18035 between the U.S. Department of Energy and Westinghouse Savannah River Company.