A sonochemical treatment has been proposed for removing hydrazine contaminants from water. The basis of the proposal is a conjecture that the sonochemical effect in water containing hydrazines would cause the hydrazines and some of the water to decompose, forming relatively innocuous products like nitrogen, ammonia, and derivatives of ammonia. On a large scale, this treatment could be incorporated into processes for remediation of industrial wastewater streams. On a smaller scale, this treatment could be effected by portable equipment that could be brought to locations where water contaminated by hydrazines has been spilled; examples of such locations include industrial chemical processing sites and spacecraft-launching sites, where hydrazines are used as hypergolic fuels.
A typical portable system (see figure) would include a wet/dry vacuum cleaner to collect the spilled water, a tank for temporary storage of the water, and a treatment subsystem that would continuously circulate water from the tank, through a sonochemical-treatment cell, and back to the tank. The sonochemical-treatment cell would contain piezoelectric plates that would be driven at the required ultrasonic frequency or frequencies by an external electronic source. The treatment would be continued until the concentration of hydrazines in the tank reached an acceptably low level.
This work was done by Dennis D. Davis of Allied-Signal Aerospace Co. for Johnson Space Center. For further information, access the Technical Support Package (TSP) free on-line at www.techbriefs.com under the Physical Sciences category, or circle no. 130 on the TSP Order Card in this issue to receive a copy by mail ($5 charge).MSC-22659