M6 group prepares to narrow disposal alternatives

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The Camp Minden Dialogue Committee is narrowing down its choices in selecting a method to dispose of nearly 16 million pounds of M6 propellant.

The entire dialogue committee met Thursday via conference call after the technical subcommittee heard presentations from 13 different companies on safer methods of disposal other than the open tray burn. Feedback on the presentations was positive, but one dialogue committee member still had questions.

“We are going to be evaluating the technologies based on the criteria,” Frances Kelley, with Louisiana Progress Action and a dialogue committee member said. “And part of that is looking at what waste streams are produced (versus) what is produced during the process. Some of those produce solid waste, some produce liquid waste and some produce gas waste. You can see the liquid waste and the solid waste, but what we want to know is how much gas is produced by the thermal processes, the burning processes and what’s in that gas. We’re comparing how much liquid is produced versus how much gas is produced and how much solid is produced.”

They also want to know the volumes and what compounds are in those waste streams and how accurately those streams can be measured, she says.

Col. Ron Stuckey, project coordinator for the M6 disposal and committee member, suggested narrowing down the choices to three or four options and start focusing on what they can and can’t do based on the criteria created by the committee.
“We need to start zeroing in on what we can and can’t do,” he said.

Ron Hagar, dialogue committee member, suggested the methods for comparison should be certified by Department of Defense Explosives Safety Board.

One of those options was the Kiln incinerator process.

Dr. Slawomir Lomnicki, a munitions expert with the LSU Superfund Research Center, says he strongly favors this process because of its destruction efficiency.

“I was very impressed with El Dorado Kiln which they applied in Europe where they have very, very strict regulations,” he said. “I think this is impressive, but only for the Kiln process. They had actually performed M6 burning and it was monitored very carefully – the emissions from the process. I think this is very promising if they’re willing to apply the same stringent technologies as for that installation (in Europe).”

Another technology they discussed at length, Kelley says, is the super critical water oxidation process by which the M6 would be chemically rendered non-explosive in water.

The main concern with incineration is being able to hold the gasses and test them before they are released into the air, she says.

Doug Sarno, facilitator, says they sent out requests to 30 firms and heard 11 different technologies, two of which were from the same firm. Firms presenting were CO2AL, U.S. Demil, Actodemil Tech, ATON, AMI, CH2M Hill, Dynasafe and EXPAL, Clean Harbor Environmental Services, DAVINCH, El Dorado Contained Burn, El Dorado Rotary Kiln, General Atomics and MuniRem.
Questions that still remain were forwarded to the vendors and the experts who presented technologies over the last two days and Sarno expects to hear from them by the end of the day Friday. Those answers will then be forwarded to dialogue committee members.

The next technical committee meeting will be Monday, March 9, beginning at 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. The number to call is 1-866-900-8984, conference ID 96418465. The entire dialogue committee will meet Wednesday, March 11, face to face at the community house in Minden at 10 a.m., with an informal gathering at 9:30 a.m. The meeting will last until roughly 2:30 p.m.

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