Advances in the Fluorocarbon Process for Decontamination of Nuclear Facility Off-Gases

  • B. E. Kanak
Part of the Advances in Nuclear Science & Technology book series (ANST)


The Nuclear Division of Union Carbide is responsible for the development of the fluorocarbon-based selective absorption process for removing noble gas fission products, carbon-14 and other radioactive contaminants from the gaseous wastes of nuclear facilities. In order to accomplish the dual objectives of component removal and subsequent concentration, the process utilizes three operations: absorption, fractional stripping and final stripping. Each of these performs a separation by exploiting the solubility differences between the various off-gas components in the process solvent, dichlorodifluoromethane (R-12). The performance and reliability of the process have been demonstrated on an engineering scale with 10 years of pilot plant operation at the Oak Ridge Garzous Dfusion Plant (ORGDP) which included extended testing with 85 Kr, 133Xe and 131I. Removal efficien- cies of greater than 99.99% for Xe, CO2, I2, and CH3I, greater than 99.9% for Kr and H2O, and greater than 99% for NO2 and N20 have been experimentally obtained. With a feed stream containing 150 ppm of noble gas, a 97% noble gas product has been achieved. In addition to demonstrating the required removal efficiencies, the process has shown a remarkable tolerance for many of the normally troublesome off-gas components and does not rely upon elaborate feed pretreatment steps. Recent work has led to a major flow scheme simplification, reducing the three-column process to a single patented column. A third generation pilot plant facility employing this new concept has successfully undergone initial testing this last year at ORGDP.


Pilot Plant Gaseous Waste Feed Stream Union Carbide Final Strip 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. E. Kanak
    • 1
  1. 1.Union Carbide — Nuclear DivisionOak RidgeUSA

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