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Technology Factsheet

EMPORE Membrane Separation Technology

Category: Decontamination > Chemical Surface Cleaning > Chelation Treatment
Reference # : OST/TMS No 1543, DOE/EM-0505 Model No : EMPORE TM

The Empore TM membrane separation technology was developed and patented by 3M and provides a method for enmeshing sorbent, surface-active particles in a web-like matrix which is formed into a membrane. This membrane is designed to have the integrity and handling strength for long term performance under high levels of radiation across a board range of pH and has a high particle surface availability. It can be used to selectively remove specific contaminants down to predetermined detection levels at high flow rates. To process water, the membrane is configured into a cartridge, which is then installed in commercially available filter housings. Analysis of output water samples from the demonstration apparatus indicated Cs-137 and Co-60 concentrations of less than 0.02 pCi/ml. Approximately 4500 gallons of water from the CP-5 storage pool were treated during the demonstration. After use the cartridges were packaged and disposed of as low level radioactive waste.

Benefits

• Achieves superior level of decontamination. • Reduces volume of secondary wastes. • Flow rate for waste stream procecssing is much higher due to small particle size. • Immobilizes captured radionuclides onto cartridges that are easily handled and packaged for storage or further processing. The full system is projected to have a lower capital cost and smaller footprint than conventional technology. The small footprint and versatility of design may help facilitate retrofitting at existing installations.

Limitations

The used cartridges may have unacceptably high radiation levels if the membranes become saturated with radiological particulates. As part of the development of this technology, the Empore TM membrane separation technology would benefit if controls were implemented to ensure overloading of radiological material does not occur.

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