Iron Phosphate Glasses for Vitrifying DOE High Priority Nuclear Wastes


Iron phosphate glasses have been studied as an alternative glass for vitrifying Department of Energy (DOE) high priority wastes. The high priority wastes were the Low Activity Waste (LAW) and the High Level Waste (HLW) with high chrome content stored at Hanford, WA, and the Sodium Bearing Waste (SBW) stored at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory. These wastes were recommended by Tanks Focus Area since they were expected to require special attention when vitrified in borosilicate glasses. All three of these wastes have been successfully vitrified in iron phosphate glasses at waste loadings ranging from a low of 32 wt% for the high sulfate LAW to 40 wt% for the SBW to a high of 75 wt% for the high chrome HLW. In addition to these desirable high waste loadings, the iron phosphate glasses were easily melted, typically between 950 and 1200 C, in less than 4 hours in commercial refractory oxide containers. It is noteworthy that the chemical durability of both glassy and deliberately crystallized iron phosphate wasteforms not only met, but significantly exceeded, all current DOE chemical durability requirements as measured by the Product Consistency Test (PCT) and Vapor Hydration Test (VHT). The high waste loading, low melting temperature, rapid furnace throughput (short melting time) and their outstanding chemical durability could significantly accelerate the clean up effort and reduce the time and cost of vitrifying these high priority wastes.

Meeting Name

227th American Chemical Society Meeting (2004: Mar. 28-Apr. 1, Anaheim, CA)


Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science

Second Department

Materials Science and Engineering


United States. Department of Energy

Keywords and Phrases

Bearings; Borosilicate Glass; Containers; Furnaces; Glass; Hydration; Iron Phosphates; Melting; Oxides; Radioactive Wastes; Sodium; Sulfates; Tanks; Waste Forms

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2004 United States. Department of Energy, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Mar 2004