Aqueous speciation and pH effect on the sorption behavior of uranium by montmorillonite

Akcay H.

JOURNAL OF RADIOANALYTICAL AND NUCLEAR CHEMISTRY, vol.237, pp.133-137, 1998 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Clay minerals occur widely in nature and play a very important role in agriculture, mineral recovery and chemical manufacturing. Among the many properties which affect clay behaviour, water binding and ion exchanging appear to be the most important The study of the cation exchange capacity of soils is of great theoretical and practical importance since the CEC determines in many ways the behavior of nutrients, chemical amendments, and many toxic compounds entering the soils. Sorption interactions with montmorillonite and other clay minerals in soils are potantially important mechanisms for attenuating the mobility of heavy metal cations through the subsurface environment. In this work the cation exchange capacity (CEC) of montmorillonite from west Anatolia, and sorptions interactions with montmorillonite for attenuating the mobility of uranium were studied. The CEC value was found to be 77 meq/100 g montmorillonite. The relative importance of test parameters e.g., contact time, particle size, pH and U(+6) aqueous speciation was determined. The results show that sorption on montmorillonite is a funtion of pH depending strongly on the aqueous U(+6) species. It reaches a maximum at near neutral pH(pH=7). At low and at high pH solutions the sorption values of uranium are poor. These sorption values were attributed to the formation of aqueous U(+6) carbonate complexes in alkaline conditions and the ion-exchange process between UO2+2 species and interlayer cations on montmorillonite in acidic solutions.