Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) performed pilot-scale hydraulic/chemical testing of spherical resorcinol formaldehyde (RF) ion exchange (IX) resin for the River Protection Project-Hanford Tank Waste Treatment & Immobilization Plant (WTP) Project. The RF resin hydraulic cycle testing was conducted in two pilot-scale IX columns, 1/4 and 1/2 scale. A total of twenty-three hydraulic/chemical cycles were successfully completed on the spherical RF resin. Sixteen of these cycles were completed in the 24 IX Column (1/2 scale column). Hydraulic testing showed that the permeability of the RF resin remained essentially constant, with no observed trend in the reduction of the permeability as the number of cycles increased. The permeability during the pilot-scale testing was 3 times better than the design requirements of the WTP full-scale IX system. The RF resin bed showed no tendency to form fissures or pack more densely as the number of cycles increased. Particle size measurements of the RF resin showed no indication of particle size change (for a given chemical) with cycles and essentially no fines formation. The permeability of the resin bed was uniform with respect to changes in bed depth. Upflow Regeneration and Simulant Introduction in the IX columns revealed another RF resin benefit; negligible radial pressures to the column walls from the swelling of resin beads. The hydraulic and chemical performance of the spherical RF resin during cycle testing was found to be superior to all other tested IX resins. The pilot-scale testing indicates that the RF resin is durable and should hold up to many hydraulic cycles in actual radioactive Cesium (Cs) separation.

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