Investigations of the uptake of transuranic radionuclides by humic and fulvic acids chemically immobilized on silica gel and their competitive release by complexing agents

Robert Bulman, Gyula Szabó, Reginald F. Clayton, Clive R. Clayton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The chemistry of the interactions of transuranic elements (TUs) with humic substances needs to be understood so that humate-mediated movement of transuranic radionuclides through the environment can be predicted. This paper reports the chemical immobilization on silica gel of humic and fulvic acids and evaluates the potential of these new materials for the retention of Pu and Am. In addition to the preparation of the foregoing immobilized humic substances, other low molecular weight metal-binding ligands have also been immobilized on silica gel to investigate the binding sites for transuranic elements (TUs) in humic substances. The X-ray photoelectron spectra (XPS) of The(IV) complexed by humic acid and the immobilized humic acid are similar thus it appears that immobilization of humic acid does not generate any configurational changes in the Th(IV)-binding sites of the macromolecule. A variety of chelating agents partly mobilize these TUs sorbed on the solid phases. A batch method was used to determine the distribution coefficients (R(d)) for the uptake of Pu and Am by these prepared solid phases are, in some cases, of a similar order of magnitude as those determined for soil and particles suspended in terrestrial surface waters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-199
Number of pages9
JournalWaste Management
Volume17
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1998

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