Kurion Acquires GeoMelt® to Expand Vitrification Solutions
Acquisition rounds out Kurion’s family of cost-effective, modular, easily deployable waste vitrification technologies to expand addressable market
IRVINE, Calif. & Oak Ridge, Tenn.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Kurion, Inc., an innovator in nuclear waste management, announced that on May 16 it acquired all assets relating to the GeoMelt® business from Impact Services, Inc., providing it with a complementary and commercially proven vitrification process. Also acquired were the exclusive, perpetual, worldwide and freely assignable and sublicensable rights of the license holder, GeoSafe® Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Battelle. The GeoMelt technologies were initially developed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) then acquired by GeoSafe for expansion and commercialization. Today, it is a collection of patented and proprietary in-container and in-situ (i.e., in-place) vitrification processes designed to destroy hazardous organics and immobilize radioactive materials and heavy metals. Vitrification – the process of converting material into glass – is considered to be the “gold standard” by international regulators for waste stabilization and isolation prior to disposal.
“The GeoMelt® product line is uniquely capable and cost effective in solving some of the most significant and complex waste issues facing the hazardous and nuclear industries, including treatment of radioactive, TSCA and RCRA wastes”
“While today Kurion focuses on liquid wastes and is already working with PNNL, the addition of the GeoMelt technology to its portfolio expands its addressable market to include nuclear, hazardous and mixed waste contaminated debris, soils and pre-containerized wastes,” said Kurion Founder and CEO John Raymont. “The GeoMelt In-Container Vitrification (ICV™) approach complements and shares several key traits of Kurion’s Modular Vitrification System (MVS®) – it is a cost-effective, modular, robust and easily deployable in-container solution. Where the ICV approach has strengths in debris-laden or pre-containerized waste, the MVS is ideal for liquid and tank wastes where temperature, glass former and process flexibility is important to address waste streams with varying and/or challenging chemistries and densities.”
Raymont added, “The GeoMelt in-situ Sub-Surface Planar™ process is unique and especially valuable for large applications, such as treatment of large quantities of contaminated soils found at sites like the Fukushima Prefecture in Japan, mining sites, or weapons complex sites. We are well-positioned for awards at a number of sites in the coming months.”
The GeoMelt process has been in commercial use since the 1990s and has treated in excess of 26,000 metric tons of waste in the U.S., Japan and Australia, including remediating sites contaminated with radioisotopes, pesticides, herbicides, solvents, PCBs, dioxins, furans and heavy metals. Also known as Bulk Vitrification, the GeoMelt ICV process is one of the technologies under consideration for supplemental treatment of the 56 million gallons of Hanford Tank Farm waste in the current Office of River Protection Plan (ORP-11242). Additional potential, large-scale applications include stabilizing the large quantities of debris-laden waste streams stored at UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) sites.
“The GeoMelt® product line is uniquely capable and cost effective in solving some of the most significant and complex waste issues facing the hazardous and nuclear industries, including treatment of radioactive, TSCA and RCRA wastes,” said Dr. Mark Denton, Kurion’s chief technology officer. “The vitrification process transforms hazardous chemical and radioactive wastes into a dense, ultra-stable vitreous material, similar to volcanic obsidian, that is typically 10 times stronger than concrete, is more durable than granite or marble, is unaffected by wet-dry or freeze-thaw cycles, and is expected to maintain its physical, chemical integrity and leach resistance over many tens of thousands of years.”