Vapors Technology

Bench Scale Testing

Evolution of an Emergency Response

The pilot-scale testing of equipment at A and AP Tank Farms will demonstrate the recommended technologies in the field at potential source locations, the work zone, and the tank farm fence line. The Vapor Monitoring & Detection System, or VMDS, is comprised of numerous detection systems with an overarching data acquisition system. In order to prove the system can monitor and detect potentially hazardous conditions, the instruments need to detect released vapors, transmit the data to the data acquisition system, and provide real-time meteorological conditions within a specified area. [Technology Maturation Plan for the Tank Farm Vapors Monitoring and Detection System (RPP-PLAN_59972, Rev. 0)]


As part of ongoing efforts to better understand and manage chemical vapor emissions, and potential worker exposures, the Hanford Tank Operations Contractor—Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS)— plans to deploy a vapor monitoring and detection system (VMDS) in the tank farms located in the 200W and 200E areas of the Hanford site. WRPS has evaluated the technical maturity of several vapor sensing technologies that make up the VMDS. Before committing to deployment of the VMDS, WRPS planned and executed bench-scale tests of the prototype system. The bench-scale tests were designed to provide input to the configuration and methodology of a pilot-scale test. Read more...

The Location

The location of sensors and samplers at the tank farms will include comprehensive coverage close to the primary sources, a more random location of sensors that will cover the tank farms, and locations outside of the boundaries of the tank farms. The data will reveal the source and transport of the vapors and detect non-tank farm sources of vapors if they are present.

Data

Data will be evaluated and correlated to determine the utility of each piece of equipment as well as collecting information on location, speciation, and concentration of vapors in the tank farms. Once the data is collected from the sensors and laboratory sampling, it will be compared to the results of other co-located sensors to corroborate the response from each type of sensor. Note: as this is a pilot-scale test, reports are subject to change as new information becomes available.

A Tank Farm

Pilot-Scale Demonstration

The A Tank Farm is a single-shell tank farm consisting of six tanks built between 1954 and 1955. Each of the tanks has a nominal 1 million gallon capacity. Each of the single-shell tanks is passively ventilated through a breather filter that will vent under particular barometric conditions. The placement of the instruments and the necessary communication in A-Farm is shown here.

The AreaRAE DRIs are placed in the general tank farm areas to track transport from known PBF releases in the breathing zone and any evidence of fugitive emissions. The autosamplers are placed in locations to accommodate any remote sampling necessary if data reveals the need for higher fidelity analysis through GC-MS.

A UV-DOAS is placed in the farm in the direction of the prevailing winds to determine ambient chemical species information as well as track any releases to confirm dilution and dispersion. In addition, several instruments are placed outside the farm to segregate tank sources and other sources of potential vapors.

AP Tank Farm

Pilot-Scale Demonstration

The AP Tank Farm is the newest double-shell tank farm consisting of eight tanks and built between 1983 and 1986. Each of the tanks has a nominal 1.16 million gallon capacity. The tanks are actively ventilated and maintained under negative pressure. In addition, newer stacks of 40-ft. heights are being brought online.

A UV-DOAS and FTIR are on the AP Tank Farm ventilation stack to determine any releases through the stack. The AreaRAE DRIs are placed in the general tank farm areas to track transport in the breathing zone and any evidence of fugitive emissions. The autosamplers are placed in locations to accommodate any remote sampling necessary if data reveals the need for higher fidelity analysis through GC-MS.

An OP-FTIR is placed on the fence lines. In addition, several instruments are placed outside the farm to segregate tank sources and other sources of potential vapors.

VMDS Pilot-Scale Test Phase 1 Report (FY 2016)


In 2014, Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS) asked Savannah River National Laboratory (SNRL) to lead a panel of independent experts to review the current programs and practices in place to protect workers from chemical vapors at the Hanford site Tank Farms. The resulting Tank Vapor Assessment Team (TVAT) issued their report in October 2014 and identified 10 overarching recommendations and 47 supporting recommendations designed to improve the safety and health management program as it relates to Hanford tank vapors.

In response to TVAT recommendation 33, “Accelerate implementation of tailored engineering technologies to detect and control vapor emissions and exposures experienced in the Hanford tank farms,” WRPS began developing the Vapor Monitoring and Detection System (VMDS). The WRPS Chemical Vapors Solutions Team (CVST) set forth the requirements for this program, and a request for solutions was put out to multiple entities including: industry, national laboratories, and academia. To ensure that the technologies selected would satisfy the needs of the program, a rigorous Technology Maturation Plan (TMP) was developed to guide the program and provide requirements for the instrumentation and software used to control the system. This report includes the results of the VMDS Phase 1 pilot-scale test conducted in 2016. A summary of the report is available here.