The computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling technique was applied to the estimation of maximum benzene concentration for the vapor space inside a large-scaled and high-level radioactive waste tank at Savannah River site (SRS). The objective of the work was to perform the calculations for the benzene mixing behavior in the vapor space of Tank 48 and its impact on the local concentration of benzene. The calculations were used to evaluate the degree to which purge air mixes with benzene evolving from the liquid surface and its ability to prevent an unacceptable concentration of benzene from forming. The analysis was focused on changing the tank operating conditions to establish internal recirculation and changing the benzene evolution rate from the liquid surface. The model used a three-dimensional momentum coupled with multi-species transport. The calculations included potential operating conditions for air inlet and exhaust flows, recirculation flow rate, and benzene evolution rate with prototypic tank geometry. The flow conditions are assumed to be fully turbulent since Reynolds numbers for typical operating conditions are in the range of 20,000 to 70,000 based on the inlet conditions of the air purge system. A standard two-equation turbulence model was used. The modeling results for the typical gas mixing problems available in the literature were compared and verified through comparisons with the test results. The benchmarking results showed that the predictions are in good agreement with the analytical solutions and literature data. Additional sensitivity calculations included a reduced benzene evolution rate, reduced air inlet and exhaust flow, and forced internal recirculation. The modeling results showed that the vapor space was fairly well mixed and that benzene concentrations were relatively low when forced recirculation and 72 cfm ventilation air through the tank boundary were imposed. For the same 72 cfm air inlet flow but without forced recirculation, the heavier benzene gas was stratified. The results demonstrated that benzene concentrations were relatively low for typical operating configurations and conditions. Detailed results and the cases considered in the calculations will be discussed here.

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