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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Review Criteria for Successful Treatment of Hydrolysate at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21771.
×

Review Criteria for
Successful Treatment of Hydrolysate at the
Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant

Committee on Review Criteria for Successful Treatment of Hydrolysate at the
Pueblo and Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plants

Board on Army Science and Technology

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

images

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, DC

www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Review Criteria for Successful Treatment of Hydrolysate at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21771.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS • 500 Fifth Street, NW • Washington, DC 20001

This activity was supported by Contract No. W911NF-14-1-0280 with the U.S. Department of Defense. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.

International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-37640-2
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-37640-8

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Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Review Criteria for Successful Treatment of Hydrolysate at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Review Criteria for Successful Treatment of Hydrolysate at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21771.
×

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The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president.

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The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine.

Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.national-academies.org.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Review Criteria for Successful Treatment of Hydrolysate at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21771.
×

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Review Criteria for Successful Treatment of Hydrolysate at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21771.
×

COMMITTEE ON REVIEW CRITERIA FOR SUCCESSFUL TREATMENT OF
HYDROLYSATE AT THE PUEBLO AND BLUE GRASS CHEMICAL AGENT
DESTRUCTION PILOT PLANTS

TODD A. KIMMELL, Argonne National Laboratory, Washington D.C. Office, Chair

EDWARD J. BOUWER, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

JUDITH A. BRADBURY, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (retired), Knoxville, Tennessee

REBECCA A. HAFFENDEN, Argonne National Laboratory, Santa Fe, New Mexico

KIMBERLY L. JONES, Howard University, Washington, D.C.

MURRAY GLENN LORD, Dow Chemical Company, Freeport, Texas

DOUGLAS M. MEDVILLE, The MITRE Corporation (retired), Highlands Ranch, Colorado

TRISHA H. MILLER, Sandia National Laboratories, Shoreview, Minnesota

ROBERT B. PUYEAR, Union Carbide (retired), Chesterfield, Missouri

WILLIAM R. RHYNE, ABS Consulting, Inc. (retired), Kingston, Tennessee

PHILLIP E. SAVAGE, Penn State University, University Park, Pennsylvania

PHILIP C. SINGER, NAE, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (retired)

SETH TULER, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Massachusetts

Staff

JAMES C. MYSKA, Study Director

NIA D. JOHNSON, Senior Research Associate

DEANNA P. SPARGER, Program Administrative Coordinator

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Review Criteria for Successful Treatment of Hydrolysate at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21771.
×

BOARD ON ARMY SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

DAVID M. MADDOX, Chair (GEN, U.S. Army, retired), Independent Consultant, Arlington, Virginia

JEAN D. REED, Vice Chair, National Defense University, Arlington, Virginia

SCOTT BADENOCH, Badenoch, LLC, Southfield, Michigan

STEVEN W. BOUTELLE (LTG, U.S. Army, retired), CISCO Consulting Services, Herndon, Virginia

EDWARD C. BRADY, Strategic Perspectives, Inc., McLean, Virginia

CARL A. CASTRO, Center for Innovation and Research and Military Families, University of Southern California, Los Angeles

DAVID E. CROW, University of Connecticut, Glastonbury

REGINALD DesROCHES, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta

EARL H. DOWELL, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

JULIA D. ERDLEY, Pennsylvania State University, State College

LESTER A. FOSTER, Electronic Warfare Associates, Herndon, Virginia

JAMES A. FREEBERSYSER, BBN Technology, St. Louis Park, Minnesota

PETER N. FULLER (MG, U.S. Army, retired), Cypress International, Springfield, Virginia

W. HARVEY GRAY, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (retired), Oak Ridge, Tennessee

RANDALL W. HILL, JR., University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies, Playa Vista

J. SEAN HUMBERT, University of Maryland, College Park

JOHN W. HUTCHINSON, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

JENNIE HWANG, H-Technologies Group, Cleveland, Ohio

BRUCE D. JETTE, Synovision Solutions, LLC, Burke, Virginia

JOHN JOANNOPOULOS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge

ROBIN L. KEESEE, Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (retired), Fairfax, Virginia

ROGER L. McCARTHY, McCarthy Engineering, Palo Alto, California

MICHAEL McGRATH, McGrath Analytics, LLC, Reston, Virginia

WILLIAM L. MELVIN, Georgia Tech Research Institute, Smyrna

ALLAN T. MENSE, Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Arizona

WALTER F. MORRISON, Booz, Allen and Hamilton (retired), Alexandria, Virginia

SCOTT PARAZYNSKI, Arizona State University, Tempe

DANIEL PODOLSKY, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas

KENNETH M. ROSEN, General Aero-Science Consultants, LLC, Guilford, Connecticut

LEON E. SALOMON (GEN, U.S. Army, retired), Independent Consultant, Gulfport, Florida

ALBERT A. SCIARRETTA, CNS Technologies, Inc., Springfield, Virginia

NEIL SIEGEL, North Grumman Information Systems, Carson, California

MICHAEL A. VANE (LTG, U.S. Army, retired), Independent Consultant, Shaver Lake, California

Staff

BRUCE A. BRAUN, Director

CHRIS JONES, Financial Manager

DEANNA P. SPARGER, Program Administrative Coordinator

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Review Criteria for Successful Treatment of Hydrolysate at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21771.
×

Preface

The Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP) is being constructed under the direction of the Program Executive Officer for Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives (PEO ACWA). BGCAPP is scheduled to begin its operations to destroy chemical munitions in 2018. Following munitions access and hydrolysis of nerve agents and energetics, BGCAPP will use a first-of-a-kind (FOAK) technology known as supercritical water oxidation (SCWO) to treat the hydrolysate and a water recovery system (WRS) to recover water for reuse as quench water in the SCWO reactors. Except for scheduled maintenance, the SCWO and WRS systems are intended to operate continuously for over 3 years.

In an attempt to address potential issues with the systems that will be used to treat hydrolysate, BGCAPP will conduct preoperational testing. This testing will take place concurrent with plant systemization and will address process and equipment problems that were identified during and after FOAK testing. These measures should help to address anticipated problems as BGCAPP begins the actual munitions destruction process. The SCWO and WRS systems should be able to be operated successfully.

Yet there remain a number of factors that could cause the SCWO and WRS to underperform. For example, the agent and energetic hydrolysates to be generated at BGCAPP constitute a very complex matrix. As another example, the actual SCWO system that will be used at BGCAPP has never processed actual agent or energetic hydrolysates. Further, the SCWO and the WRS have never been operated together. These and other factors could lead to the SCWO and WRS underperforming and possibly delay the destruction of the chemical munitions stored at the Blue Grass Army Depot. These munitions have now been stored for over five decades. Many of them have leaked and, although the chemical munitions are stored in a protective manner, continued storage of these munitions represents an ongoing risk to the local community. These munitions must be destroyed safely and efficiently, and it is therefore important to ensure that problems with the SCWO and WRS do not delay this process. All the more so since there will be long lead times associated with implementing any alternatives to processing hydrolysates through the SCWO and WRS. The Army needs a backup plan for treating the BGCAPP hydrolysate and needs to be in a position to implement it expeditiously if necessary.

I would like to thank the PEO ACWA and BGCAPP staff and systems contractors who provided input to the committee’s deliberations and accommodated its numerous inquiries. I also want to thank the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection and the local Citizens’ Advisory Commission and the Chemical Destruction Community Advisory Board for offering their perspectives on the issues. I must also thank the staff of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine for their tireless and outstanding support, especially Jim Myska, Deanna Sparger, and Nia Johnson. Lastly, I thank the committee members for putting up with my onerous demands, challenging schedule, and my dry and only sometimes witty sense of humor.

Todd A. Kimmell, Chair
Committee on Review Criteria for
Successful Treatment of Hydrolysate at the
Pueblo and Blue Grass Chemical Agent
Destruction Pilot Plants

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Review Criteria for Successful Treatment of Hydrolysate at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21771.
×

Acknowledgment of Reviewers

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:

Martin A. Abraham, Youngstown State University,

Cheryl Burke, The Dow Chemical Company,

Edward L. Cussler, Jr. (NAE), University of Minnesota, Minneapolis,

Julius Rebek, Jr. (NAS), The Scripps Research Institute,

Bruce E. Rittmann (NAE), Arizona State University

Leonard M. Siegel, Center for Public Environmental Oversight,

Vernon L. Snoeyink (NAE), University of Illinois,

William J. Walsh, Pepper Hamilton LLP.

Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Hyla S. Napadensky (NAE), who was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Review Criteria for Successful Treatment of Hydrolysate at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21771.
×
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Review Criteria for Successful Treatment of Hydrolysate at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21771.
×

4 REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS FOR OFFSITE HYDROLYSATE SHIPMENT AND TREATMENT

Introduction

RCRA Permitting

Regulatory Background

Hazardous Waste Listings and Characteristics

RCRA Land Disposal Restrictions

Structure of RCRA Permit at BGCAPP

Other Environmental Requirements

Toxic Substances Control Act

Clean Air Act

Water Withdrawal Requirements under State Law

National Environmental Policy Act Requirements

Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

References

5 TRANSPORTATION OF CHEMICAL MATERIALS

Department of Transportation Regulations

The Historical Transportation of Chemical Munition Materials

Identification of the Risks of Transporting Hydrolysate

Risks Due to a Heavy Truck Crash, Independent of Cargo

Additional Risks from Carrying Hazardous Materials

Additional Risks Posed by Transporting Hydrolysate

Related Prior Findings and Recommendations from National Research Council Reports

References

6 HYDROLYSATE TREATMENT CRITERIA FOR SUCCESS AND DECISION FRAMEWORK

Criteria for Successful Hydrolysate Treatment

Graded Success Scale

A Decision Framework for Determining Successful SCWO and WRS Operation

Factors Affecting a Decision to Move to Offsite Treatment

Preoperational Testing Factoring Into the Decision Process

References

7 UNDERPERFORMANCE AND FAILURE RISKS, SYSTEMIZATION, AND CONTINGENCY OPTIONS

Underperformance and Failure Risks, Systemization, and Contingency Options for the Supercritical Water Oxidation System

Energetics Hydrolysate

GB and VX Agent Hydrolysate

Technical Factors That May Lead to Insufficient SCWO Treatment

SCWO Systemization and Likelihood of Insufficient Treatment

Impacts If the SCWO System Underperforms or Does Not Perform

SCWO Contingency Options

Underperformance and Failure Risks, Systemization, and Contingency Options for the Water Recovery System

Technical Factors That May Lead to Insufficient Treatment

WRS Systemization and Likelihood of Insufficient Treatment

Impacts If WRS Underperforms or Does Not Perform

WRS Contingency Options

Offsite Shipment as a Contingency Option

Plant

Paper

People

Treatment Timeline in the Offsite Shipment Decision

References

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Review Criteria for Successful Treatment of Hydrolysate at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21771.
×
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Review Criteria for Successful Treatment of Hydrolysate at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21771.
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Page xiii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Review Criteria for Successful Treatment of Hydrolysate at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21771.
×

Tables, Figures, and Boxes

TABLES

S-1 Graded Success Scale for Use in Evaluating Overall Operation and Individual Treatment Processes (SCWO and WRS)

2-1 Simulated GB Agent Hydrolysate Used in FOAK Testing

2-2 Simulated Energetics Hydrolysate Used in GB FOAK Testing

2-3 Simulated Blended Hydrolysate Used in FOAK Testing for GB

2-4 Simulated VX Agent Hydrolysate Used in FOAK Testing

2-5 Simulated Energetics Hydrolysate Used in VX FOAK Testing

2-6 Simulated Blended Hydrolysate Used in VX FOAK Testing

5-1 Historical Data on the Shipment of Hydrolysates and Neutralent

5-2 Comparison of Historical Hydrolysate and Neutralent Contents

5-3 Highway Hazardous Material Incident Summary by Transportation Phase in 2014

6-1 Graded Success Scale for Use in Evaluating Overall Operation and Individual Treatment Processes

7-1 Summary of Potential Technical Factors Leading to System Underperformance or Failure in the SCWO, and Corresponding Contingency Options

7-2 Summary of Potential Technical Factors Leading to System Underperformance or Failure in the WRS, and Corresponding Contingency Options

7-3 Combined SCWO and WRS Failure Scenarios

FIGURES

2-1 Schematic diagram of SCWO Reactors

2-2 Flow of material from hydrolysis, through SCWO, and up until the pretreatment step in the WRS

2-3 Process flow diagram for the WRS, including the pretreatment and RO system

6-1 Decision framework for meeting performance goals

7-1 Schematic of the major components of hydrolysate treatment housed in the SCWO process building (SPB), including the Aluminum Precipitation System (APS) and Aluminum Filtration System (AFS), the SCWO blend tank and reactor, and the Reverse Osmosis (RO) Water Recovery System

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Review Criteria for Successful Treatment of Hydrolysate at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21771.
×
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Review Criteria for Successful Treatment of Hydrolysate at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21771.
×

Acronyms and Abbreviations

ACWA

Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives

AFS

aluminum filtration system

APG

Aberdeen Proving Ground

APS

aluminum precipitation system

atm

atmosphere (unit of pressure)

BGAD

Blue Grass Army Depot

BGCAPP

Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant

CAC

Citizens’ Advisory Commission

CATT

Citizens’ Advisory Technical Team

CDCAB

Chemical Destruction Community Advisory Board

CWC

Chemical Weapons Convention

CWWG

Chemical Weapons Working Group

DoT

U.S. Department of Transportation

DSCM

dry standard cubic meter

EBH

energetics batch hydrolyzer

EIS

environmental impact statement

EPA

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

FEIS

final environmental impact statement

FOAK

first-of-a-kind

GB

nerve agent (sarin)

gpm

gallons per minute

HPGLS

high-pressure gas–liquid separator

HSA

hydrolysate storage area

HVAC

heating, ventilation, and air conditioning

KAR

Kentucky Administrative Regulations

KDEP

Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection

KEF

Kentucky Environmental Foundation

LDR

Land Disposal Restriction

LPGLS

low-pressure gas–liquid separator

mil

one one-thousandth of an inch

NECD

Newport Chemical Depot

NECDF

Newport Chemical Agent Disposal Facility

NEPA

National Environmental Policy Act

NRC

National Research Council

OPCW

Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

OWS

oil–water separator

PCAPP

Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant

PCB

polychlorinated biphenyl

PCD

Pueblo Chemical Depot

PEO

Program Executive Office

ppm

parts per million

psig

pounds per square inch gauge

QTRA

quantitative transportation risk analysis

RCRA

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act

RD&D

Research, Development, and Demonstration

REC

record of environmental consideration

RMA

Rocky Mountain Arsenal

RO

reverse osmosis

SCWO

supercritical water oxidation

SDC

static detonation chamber

SDS

spent decontamination solution

SFT

shipping and firing tube

TDS

total dissolved solids

TOC

total organic carbon

TSCA

Toxic Substances Control Act

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Review Criteria for Successful Treatment of Hydrolysate at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21771.
×

TSDF

treatment, storage, and disposal facility

VX

nerve agent

WRS

water recovery system

wt %

percentage by weight, or weight percent

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Review Criteria for Successful Treatment of Hydrolysate at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21771.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Review Criteria for Successful Treatment of Hydrolysate at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21771.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Review Criteria for Successful Treatment of Hydrolysate at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21771.
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In 1993, the United States signed the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), an international treaty outlawing the production, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons. The chemical weapons stockpiles at five of the U.S. chemical weapons storage sites have now been destroyed. At those sites, the munitions were robotically opened and the chemical agent was removed, collected, and incinerated.

One of the remaining sites with chemical weapons stockpiles is the Blue Grass Army Depot near Richmond, Kentucky. In this case, caustic hydrolysis will be used to destroy the agents and energetics, resulting in a secondary waste stream known as hydrolysate. Review Criteria for Successful Treatment of Hydrolysate at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant develops criteria for successfully treating the hydrolysate, identifies systemization data that should factor into the criteria/decision process, suggests potential modifications to suggested treatment that would allow continued onsite processing, and assesses waste disposal procedures. This study further examines the possibility of delay or failure of the existing technology and examines possible alternatives to onsite treatment.

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