Environment News Service

TREATING CHEMICAL AND RADIOACTIVE WASTES BY NEW GASVIT METHOD

Friday, March 12, 1999

A tentative decision to allow Allied Technology Group (ATG) of Richland, Washington to construct and operate a facility to treat and store chemical and radioactive wastes is open for public comment from March 15 through April 28. The permit would allow ATG to handle wastes from federal and industrial sources. ATG would use non-thermal treatment such as stabilization and would be the first facility in the nation to use the new trademarked GASVIT thermal technology, developed by Battelle and International Environmental Technologies of Richland. GASVIT combines the two technologies of "gasification" and "vitrification." GASVIT treatment is an alternative to incineration. Gasification involves detoxifying organic materials by converting them to their elemental forms in the presence of a plasma arc operating at a high temperature and reacting the decomposed compounds with steam to form a synthesis gas. The synthesis gas is filtered, cleaned and converted to the stable form of carbon dioxide and water. Vitrification is the fusion of inorganic waste components at high temperature to form a glass-like product that is chemically stable and leach resistant. All waste treated at ATG will be returned to the facilities that generated it. The Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are holding an informational meeting and public hearing April 8, 7 pm at Ecology’s Kennewick Office, 1315 W. 4th Ave. For more information contact: Department of Ecology, Nuclear Waste Program, toll-free: 1-800-321-2008.

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