Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL)

Agency/Department

FLC Region

Security Lab

Yes

Address

Technology Programs
Building 773-41A, Room 242
Aiken, SC 29808
United States

Laboratory Representative

Description

The Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) is the applied research and development laboratory at the Department of Energy's Savannah River Site (SRS). Originally established to support SRS, with its mission to produce the basic materials used in the fabrication of nuclear weapons, today SRNL puts science to work to serve a variety of customers across DOE, NNSA, other federal agencies, and a small number of commercial customers, in the areas of national and homeland security, energy security, and environmental and process technology. Since the end of the Cold War, SRNL has played an instrumental role in finding solutions to environmental remediation and waste stabilization problems at SRS and other government sites. SRNL has a wide spectrum of expertise in areas such as hydrogen energy, nonproliferation and counterintelligence, environmental science, waste processing, homeland security, analytical chemistry, instruments and sensors, robotics, and materials technologies. SRNL and SRS are managed by Westinghouse Savannah River Company, a subsidiary of Washington Group International.

Mission

SRNL's mission is to meet national and SRS Science and Technology needs; to build technical capabilities to meet future national needs and future SRS missions; and to provide the R&D vital to the nation that can also stimulate the region's technology-based economy through partnerships with South Carolina and regional universities and collaborations with regional governments.

Tech Areas

Available Technologies
Displaying 1 - 10 of 49
ALPES: Aerosol-to-Liquid Particle Extraction System
Atomic force microscope with combined FTIR-Raman spectroscopy having a micro thermal analyzer
BaroBall: Control Valve with Volume Flow Measurement
Biomass and Coal into Liquid Fuel with CO2 Capture: New Single-step hydrolysis process co-converts coal and any biomass to liquid fuel
BIOREMEDIATION OF CONTAMINATED GROUNDWATER
BioTiger: (Biological Enhancement of Hydrocarbon Extraction)
Colorimetric detection of uranium in water
DECONTAMINATION OF TRITIATED WATER
Double Coil Condenser Apparatus: A glass condenser apparatus that allows the user to adjust the rate of condensation during testing
Groundwater and Wastewater Remediation Using Agricultural Oils

Pages

No Funding for this lab
No Programs for this lab
Facilities
Displaying 1 - 5 of 5
Aiken County Technology Laboratory (ACTL)
Analytical Laboratories
Energy Materials Research Laboratory (EMRL)
F/H Lab
Health Physics Instrument Calibration Laboratory
No Equipment for this lab
No publications for this lab
Success Stories
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A technology that uses “green” chemistry to help microbes break down contaminants in soil before they reach the groundwater has earned kudos from the editors of Environmental Protection website as 2011 Soil & Groundwater New Product of the Year.

The technology, which was invented by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Savannah River National Laboratory, and licensed and manufactured by EOS Remediation, LLC, a subsidiary of Solutions-IES, Inc., treats chlorinated solvent contamination in the vadose zone, the area of unsaturated soils between the ground surface and the water table below. Contamination in this zone can be a continuing source of groundwater contamination.

The technology, which EOS Remediation markets under the name Vadose Organic Substrate (VOS™), is based on sustainable “green” chemistry. The thixotropic gel – a liquid consistency when stirred, but gels when left in place – uses biodegradable oil to sequester the contaminants while providing food for the microorganisms in the soil, stimulating the microbes’ innate ability to degrade solvents. Initial results indicated that the VOS™ Technology can cost-effectively turn land once deemed unusable into productive and safe real estate.

The technology was originally developed by Brian Riha of SRNL to address solvent contamination at DOE’s Savannah River Site. EOS Remediation obtained the exclusive license to manufacture and sell the technology, as part of SRNL’s mandate to support the U.S. economy by moving technologies developed at the government laboratory into the marketplace.

Solutions-IES is an award-winning, woman-owned environmental consulting, engineering and remediation firm and is a leading developer of innovative technologies for natural and sustainable bioremediation of soil and groundwater. Its subsidiary, EOS Remediation, commercializes products developed by Solutions-IES to naturally clean-up environmental contamination. EOS® technologies are used at over 1,000 sites annually and substantially reduce the cost to restore contaminated properties throughout the world.

Tersus Environmental, LLC, located in Wake Forest, NC, a developer and marketer of advanced, innovative technologies for the remediation of soil and groundwater, and Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC recently announced the signing of an Exclusive Patent License Agreement for the MicroBlower™. This royalty-based agreement grants Tersus Environmental an exclusive worldwide license to manufacture, use, and sell the MicroBlower™, a passive soil vapor extraction technology developed at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Savannah River National Laboratory, which is operated for DOE by SRNS.

“This license agreement with Savannah River Nuclear Solutions enables us to expand our strong foundation of intellectual property,” said Gary Birk, Managing Partner of Tersus Environmental. “Working with the outstanding researchers at Savannah River National Laboratory will provide our associates at Tersus Environmental and inVentures Technologies more design freedom as we develop the next generation of remediation technologies to meet the demands of this ever-expanding environmental sector. Our customers will benefit as we continue to implement an expanding array of uniquely effective remediation strategies.”

Targeting the “vadose zone” during remediation traditionally has been considered difficult and the researchers at the Savannah River National Laboratory have developed a MicroBlower™ assisted barometric valve specifically for remediation of organic compounds in the vadose zone.

MicroBlower™ uses a small, low power vacuum blower to extract or inject gases into the subsurface for characterization or remediation. While similar in design to an active soil vapor extraction (ASVE) blower, the MicroBlower™ is a low-cost alternative designed to run on renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind energy to treat volatile organic compound (VOC) contamination in the unsaturated zone. MicroBlowers offer the advantage of a reduced carbon footprint and very low operating and maintenance expenses.

A growing trend in environmental remediation is the use of natural processes. Researchers at SRNL are developing remedial approaches that take advantage of natural phenomena. These approaches are reducing the costs of cleanup and intruding less on the environment. The MicroBlower™ technology is an example of such an approach, based on natural venting cycles between the surface and subsurface. When atmospheric pressure is higher than the subsurface’s pressure, air is induced to flow through wells into the subsurface. Conversely, when atmospheric pressure is lower than subsurface pressure, air flows out of wells into the atmosphere, taking with it organic contaminants such as chlorinated solvents in the gas phase.

The Paperless Work Package System (PWP) is a computer program that takes information from Asset Suite, provides a platform for other electronic inputs, processes the inputs into an electronic package that can be downloaded onto an electronic work tablet or laptop computer, provides electronic inputs into the work tablet, and then transposes those inputs back into Asset Suite and to permanent records.

NextAxiom Technology, Inc. is a San Francisco-based platform innovator that has enabled the silo-free enterprise for over a decade. In 2013, NextAxion Technology, Inc. signed an exclusive license with Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC. In December of 2013, NextAxiom announced the general availability of the Mobile Work Package (MWP). The first MWP rollout at SRNS saw a $2.7 million annual cost savings and the payback period was under one year.

This new field mobility solution, designed to support a force of 200 mission critical maintenance workers equipped with wireless tablets, automates paper-intensive work processes, while enabling cross-silo intelligent information flow between disparate systems. It was designed to assist mobile SRNS field maintenance work force and management in the following areas:

  • Streamlining the Work Process: Eliminates the paper, while simultaneously eliminates the high costs and work inefficiency associated with the legacy paper-based process. The new PWP solution is highly scalable and manages in the range of 120,000 new work orders per year.
  • Enabling Tablet-based Field Mobility: Enables the field workforce – 200 plus onsite mechanics and technical crew members – to leverage ruggedized, next generation mobile tablet devices and pen computing for dramatically improved work process automation in both ‘connected’ and offline modes.
  • Driving Cross-Application Integration: Created a new bi-directional intelligent information flow. This was developed within an overall IT environment in which no legacy SOA infrastructure or middleware (e.g. enterprise service bus or ESB) was in place.
  • Manages User Access Roles: Supports all relevant management and workforce roles within the new application, including Work Planners, First Line Managers, Mechanics and Field Work Reviewers, based on the secure user access policy.
  • Tracking Work Packages: Includes a new Work Package Tracking System to manage the new Paperless Work Package on an ongoing basis.
  • Records Automation Module: Once a Work Order has been completed for a specified amount of time, all work package documents are automatically grouped by task and compiled into a single PDF document. The module enables comprehensive paperless work package records creation, freeing staff to focus on work processes, not paperwork.

A vital concern for cellular, broadcast, and emergency communications is the ability to maintain a safe, dependable communications tower. The danger is from more than just strong wind, but also the corrosion of underground anchors that help support these tall structures. Anchors can become pitted and weakened, and must be monitored on a regular basis. Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL), in conjunction with Metallurgical Engineering Services, Inc. (MES), have developed a way to test the integrity of these anchors without digging away the surrounding soil. SoundAnchor™ performs inspections of tower anchors by using sound waves.

“SoundAnchor™ is a technique that applies ultrasonic frequencies to assess the condition of buried anchors that support towers,” explained SRNL Meteoroligst Matt Parker, who helped invent the device. “The advantage is that this technique avoids expensive and damaging excavation processes and is more thorough in assessing the condition of the rods over just a visual inspection. SoundAnchor™ can be used to monitor trends associated with degradation due to corrosion.”

Anchor rod failure due to corrosion is a problem in every environment and every geographic region. Parker said the need for a more efficient method of testing rods became evident due to the lack of robust technical and economic inspection method and an increased emphasis on worker safety. “Besides worker safety, ensuring rod integrity is vital during extreme weather events like Hurricane Sandy. The viability of the cellular network is enhanced greatly if the structures do not collapse under the duress caused by extreme wind or loads from heavy ice build-up. The Achilles Heel of most towers is the anchor rods,” added Parker.

The industry standard is to excavate each rod every three to five years to ensure its integrity. With nine meteorological towers and 27 anchor rods, Parker said the task was unappealing.

Parker and SRNL NonDestructive Examination expert, Bill Hinz, searched for a better technical solution. “We had to conduct a lot of testing to see how much degradation could be detected and how much was ‘too much’ via tensile testing of anchors in the laboratory. The final result was a far superior technique that cost about 10% of the damaging excavations.

In order to get this technology to industries where it could be of most use, SRNL partnered with MES of Richardson, Texas. “There are literally thousands of towers in the U.S. that can benefit from this technology,” Parker said. “MES has actually improved on SoundAnchor™ to make it easier to apply and provide more detailed results. This ability for a private company to take technology invented at the lab, and take it one step further for efficiency and safety, that’s satisfying for a researcher, and satisfying for the laboratory.”

Hadron Technologies, Inc., a microwave technology and systems development and manufacturing company with offices in Tennessee and Colorado, has signed a license for a Hybrid Microwave and OffGas Treatment System developed by the Savannah River National Laboratory, the Department of Energy’s applied science laboratory located at the Savannah River Site.

The agreement gives Hadron the exclusive rights to manufacture and sell the SRNL-developed system.

The microwave system is used to support gas sample analysis as part of SRS national defense mission. Laboratory experimentation has shown that the new form of hybrid microwave is capable of performing functions that traditional microwave systems could not achieve. The system achieves extremely high temperatures by enabling materials that usually do not react to microwave energy to absorb it and rapidly heat up. Metals, which normally cannot be introduced into a microwave, not only can be treated in the system, but they are actually used to help increase the temperature of the lower chamber, enabling faster degradation of waste materials.

Equipment using these technologies could be used to destroy a wide variety of substances ranging from medical wastes to harmful viruses and drugs such as methamphetamine, while still allowing for DNA analysis of the destroyed material.

“This is another good example of how laboratory innovation has changed our approach to problems,” said Dr. Terry Michalske, Director of SRNL. “Public-private collaborations such as this one are important to the mission of a National Laboratory, and this one has the potential to bring a significant technology to a number of different commercial and government markets.”

“Hadron Technologies is very excited about our exclusive licensing of the Hybrid Microwave and OffGas Treatment System developed by the Savannah River National Laboratory. This innovative microwave technology affords solutions to a number of obstacles within the commercial and government markets. We are looking forward to commercially implementing this technology and providing solutions to these markets,” said Stan Morrow, Chief Technology Officer, of Hadron Technologies, Inc