Characterization of U(VI) Sorption-Desorption Processes and Model Upscaling

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The objectives of the overall collaborative EMSP effort (with which this project is associated) were to characterize sorption and desorption processes of U(VI) on pristine and contaminated Hanford sediments over a range of sediment facies and materials properties and to relate such characterization both to fundamental molecular-scale understanding and field-scale models of geochemistry and mass transfer. The research was intended to provide new insights on the mechanisms of U(VI) retardation at Hanford, and to allow the development of approaches by which laboratory-developed geochemical models could be upscaled for defensible field-scale predictions of uranium transport in the environment. Within this broader ... continued below

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Bai, Jing; Dong, Wenming & Ball, William P. October 12, 2006.

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Description

The objectives of the overall collaborative EMSP effort (with which this project is associated) were to characterize sorption and desorption processes of U(VI) on pristine and contaminated Hanford sediments over a range of sediment facies and materials properties and to relate such characterization both to fundamental molecular-scale understanding and field-scale models of geochemistry and mass transfer. The research was intended to provide new insights on the mechanisms of U(VI) retardation at Hanford, and to allow the development of approaches by which laboratory-developed geochemical models could be upscaled for defensible field-scale predictions of uranium transport in the environment. Within this broader context, objectives of the JHU-based project were to test hypotheses regarding the coupled roles of adsorption and impermeable-zone diffusion in controlling the fate and transport of U(VI) species under conditions of comparatively short-term exposure. In particular, this work tested the following hypotheses: (1) the primary adsorption processes in the Hanford sediment over the pH range of 7 to 10 are surface complexation reactions of aqueous U(VI) hydroxycarbonate and carbonate complexes with amphoteric edge sites on detrital phyllosilicates in the silt/clay size fraction; (2) macroscopic adsorption intensity (at given aqueous conditions) is a function of mineral composition and aquatic chemistry; and (3) equilibrium sorption and desorption to apply in short-term, laboratory-spiked pristine sediments; and (4) interparticle diffusion can be fully understood in terms of a model that couples molecular diffusion of uranium species in the porewater with equilibrium sorption under the relevant aqueous conditions. The primary focus of the work was on developing and applying both models and experiments to test the applicability of "local equilibrium" assumptions in the modeling interpretation of sorption retarded interparticle diffusion, as relevant to processes of U(VI) diffusion in silt/clay layers. Batch isotherm experiments were first used to confirm sorption isotherms under the intended test conditions and diffusion cell experiments were then conducted to explore the diffusion hypotheses. Important new information was obtained about the role of aqueous calcium and solid calcium carbonate in controlling sorption equilibrium with Hanford sediments. The retarded interparticle diffusion model with local sorption equilibrium was shown to very successfully simulate diffusion at high aqueous concentration of U(VI). By contrast, however, diffusion data obtained at low concentration suggested nonequilibrium of sorption even at diffusion time scales. Such nonequilibrium effects at low concentration are likely to be the result of sorption retarded intraparticle diffusion, and strong U(VI) sorption in the low concentration range.

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PDF file; 1.03 MB; 77 pages

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  • Report No.: DOE/ER63498
  • Grant Number: FG07-02ER63498
  • DOI: 10.2172/894270 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 894270
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc888195

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • October 12, 2006

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Oct. 31, 2016, 8:41 p.m.

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Bai, Jing; Dong, Wenming & Ball, William P. Characterization of U(VI) Sorption-Desorption Processes and Model Upscaling, report, October 12, 2006; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc888195/: accessed December 15, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.