Coupling Sorption to Soil Weathering During Reactive Transport: Impacts of Mineral Transformation and Sorbent Aging on Contaminant Speciation and Mobility
Description: This project aimed for a predictive-mechanistic understanding of the coupling between mineral weathering and contaminant (Cs, Sr, I) transport/fate in caustic waste-impacted sediments. Based on our prior studies of model clay mineral systems, we postulated that contaminant uptake to Hanford sediments would reflect concurrent adsorption and co-precipitation effects. Our specific objectives were: (1) to assess the molecular-scale mechanisms responsible for time-dependent sequestration of contaminants (Cs, Sr and I) during penetration of waste-induced weathering fronts; (2) to determine the rate and extent of contaminant release from the sorbed state; (3) to develop a reactive transport model based on molecular mechanisms and macroscopic flow experiments [(1) and (2)] that simulates adsorption, aging, and desorption dynamics. Progress toward achieving each of these objectives is discussed below. We observed unique molecular mechanisms for sequestration of Sr, Cs and I during native silicate weathering in caustic waste. Product solids, which included poorly crystalline aluminosilicates and well-crystallized zeolites and feldspathoids, accumulate contaminant species during crystal growth.
Date: October 30, 2009
Creator: Chorover, J.; Mueller, K. T.; O'Day, P. A.; Serne, R. J. & Steefel, C. I.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department