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Adsorption of strontium and caesium onto an Na-MX80 bentonite: Experiments and building of a coherent thermodynamic modelling

Siroux, Brice, Beaucaire, Catherine, Tabarant, Michel, Benedetti, Marc F., Reiller, Pascal E.
Applied geochemistry 2017 v.87 pp. 167-175
accidents, adsorption, bentonite, cations, cesium, databases, geochemistry, ion exchange, models, montmorillonite, pH, radionuclides, sediments, smectite, sodium, soil, strontium, thermodynamics
Multi-site ion exchange modelling permits describing the different adsorption behaviour of cations onto clay minerals. Considering several adsorption sites in the clay minerals’ structure allows accurately representing the overall variations of adsorption behaviours. For a wider applicability in soils and sediments, it appears necessary to build a coherent thermodynamic adsorption database for radionuclides. ⁹⁰Sr and ¹³⁴,¹³⁷Cs are major radionuclides to be considered in the case of nuclear accidents, but thermodynamic data on their adsorption on purified smectites are scarce. Therefore, a detailed study to determine Sr²⁺ and Cs⁺ adsorption parameter on smectite seems necessary. To provide this kind of information, this study is proposing multi-site ion exchange modelling of the adsorption of Sr²⁺ and Cs⁺ onto a pure Na-MX80 montmorillonite. The intrinsic parameters—site concentration and corrected selectivity coefficient for the Na⁺/H⁺ exchange—were first fitted using an already available Na saturation curve of a purified smectite. The adsorption of Sr²⁺ and Cs⁺ on a purified Na-MX80 bentonite was explored, including a kinetic study for Sr, as a function of pH and equilibrium concentration. The isotherms were modelled to determine the corrected selectivity coefficients for the 2Na⁺/Sr²⁺ and Na⁺/Cs⁺ exchange reactions. This study provides a part of a wider databasis that is currently under construction, which can be used to predict the adsorption of Sr and Cs in soils and sediments.