Influence of heteroaggregation processes between intrinsic colloids and carrier colloids on cerium(III) mobility through fractured carbonate rocks

Emily Tran, Ofra Klein Ben-David, Nadya Teutsch, Noam Weisbrod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Colloid facilitated transport of radionuclides has been implicated as a major transport vector for leaked nuclear waste in the subsurface. Sorption of radionuclides onto mobile carrier colloids such as bentonite and humic acid often accelerates their transport through saturated rock fractures. Here, we employ column studies to investigate the impact of intrinsic, bentonite and humic acid colloids on the transport and recovery of Ce(III) through a fractured chalk core. Ce(III) recovery where either bentonite or humic colloids were added was 7.7-26.9% Ce for all experiments. Greater Ce(III) recovery was observed when both types of carrier colloids were present (25.4-37.4%). When only bentonite colloids were present, Ce(III) appeared to be fractionated between chemical sorption to the bentonite colloid surfaces and heteroaggregation of bentonite colloids with intrinsic carbonate colloids, precipitated naturally in solution. However, scanning electron microscope (SEM) images and colloid stability experiments reveal that in suspensions of humic acid colloids, colloid-facilitated Ce(III) migration results only from the latter attachment mechanism rather than from chemical sorption. This observed heteroaggregation of different colloid types may be an important factor to consider when predicting potential mobility of leaked radionuclides from geological repositories for spent fuel located in carbonate rocks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-97
Number of pages10
JournalWater Research
Volume100
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2016

Keywords

  • Carbonates
  • Carrier colloids
  • Colloid-facilitated transport
  • Fracture networks
  • Geological repositories
  • Radionuclides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering

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