Immobilization of Hanford LAW in Iron Phosphate Glasses


Iron phosphate glasses containing 30 w% of a high sodium and sulfur Hanford low-activity waste (LAW) simulant was successfully melted in electric furnaces at 1000-1050 °C for 2-3 h. No sulfate salt segregation or crystalline phases were detectable in the glassy wasteform when examined by scanning electron microscope and X-ray diffractometer. This suggests that the waste loading in the iron phosphate glasses will not be limited by the SO3 content of the LAW as is currently the case in borosilicate glasses. At 30 wt% LAW, the iron phosphate glass wasteform satisfies DOE's product consistency test and vapor hydration test requirements for aqueous chemical durability, but the chemical durability depends upon the overall composition. The high fluidity and electrical conductivity of the iron phosphate melts suggest that iron phosphate wasteforms can be melted in a hot or cold crucible induction melter as an alternative to melting in a joule-heated melter. These properties combined with a significantly higher waste loading offer a considerable savings in time, energy and cost for vitrifying the Hanford LAW in iron phosphate glasses.


Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science

Second Department

Materials Science and Engineering


United States. Department of Energy


This work was supported by the Environmental Management Science Program (EMSP) of the US Department of Energy (DOE) under contract FG07-96ER45618.

Keywords and Phrases

Electric furnaces; Hydration; Iron compounds; Melting; Scanning electron microscopy; X ray diffraction analysis; Waste loading; Borosilicate glass

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Article - Journal

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© 2003 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Dec 2003