This paper describes an apparatus used to remove chlorine from chloride salt-based nuclear wastes from electrochemical reprocessing and/or chloride-based molten salt reactors (MSRs) through dechlorination by reacting the salts with ammonium dihydrogen phosphate (NH4H2PO4 or ADP) at temperatures up to 600 °C to produce NH4Cl as a byproduct. The benefits of removing the Cl from these salts include 37Cl recovery from Cl-based MSR salts, formation of UCl3 from the NH4Cl, as well as removal of Cl from the salts and conversion of the salt cations to oxides to allow for immobilization in a chemically durable iron phosphate waste form. This generation-2 system is an improvement over the generation-1 system and provides a means for scaling up salt throughput as well as NH4Cl recovery. The generation-2 system includes a five-zone furnace so the temperature of the four-zone gradient furnace can be tailored to control the location of NH4Cl condensation on a four-piece fused quartz off-gas system. Both ADP and NH4Cl decomposition reactions include the production of NH3 and acids (i.e., H3PO4 and HCl, respectively), so careful temperature control is needed during the ADP-salt reactions to maximize the NH4Cl production and minimize NH4Cl decomposition. In two sets of experiments run in the generation-1 and generation-2 apparatuses, NH4Cl yields were ≥5.5-fold higher for the new system compared to the original prototype system and the batch sizes can be ≥2.5-fold higher. In addition, some thermodynamic experiments evaluating the reactions of ADP + KCl as well as decomposition of pure NH4Cl were performed to assess the temperatures of the reactions and identify off-gas products.


Materials Science and Engineering

Publication Status

Open Access


U.S. Department of Energy, Grant DE-AC05-76RL01830

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

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Final Version

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Publication Date

30 Nov 2021