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Browsing by Subject "Zeta potential"

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  • Silenius, Karola (2024)
    As part of the SAFER2028, ABCRad (Alternative Buffer/Backfill Characterization and Radionuclide Interactions) research project, two alternative bentonite materials supplied by Posiva Oy were investigated in this thesis. The aim of the thesis was to investigate and determine the sorption behavior of these two buffer material candidates, with a deliberate reference to a well- known Na-Wyoming type bentonite serving as a benchmark. In order to closely imitate conditions relevant to repository settings, a synthetic reference water was prepared, and the experiments were conducted within a glove box in N2 atmosphere excluding CO2 and O2. This thesis provides valuable perspectives on the behavior and attributes of the alternative bentonite materials, which is crucial for guiding decisions in the design of repositories for radioactive waste and strategies for managing spent nuclear fuel. More specifically, this thesis provides thermodynamic sorption models (TMS) for two risk-driving radionuclides, uranium (U) and cesium (Cs). Batch sorption isotherms were made using a 1:20 solid-to-liquid ratio including 0.5 g of bentonite in 10 cm3 of reference water. Gamma spectroscopy and Liquid Scintillation Counting (LSC) were employed for the analysis of reaction supernatants. Complementary to these techniques, additional bentonite properties, including Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) and Exchangeable Cations (EC), were determined. Pre-characterization was done for the bentonites using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and the Specific Surface Areas (SSA) were determined. These analyses provide a comprehensive characterization of the alternative backfill materials under investigation. This thesis focuses on combining quantitative sorption data (e.g., distribution coefficient, Kd) with mechanistic understanding (e.g., FTIR spectroscopy). This contributes to an improved understanding of radionuclide sorption mechanisms, thereby bolstering safety considerations. The CEC determined for the bentonites, Laviosa, LMS, and Na-Wyoming were 87 (±0,048) meq/100 g, 95 (±0,34) meq/100 g, and 91 (± 1,23) meq/100 g, respectively. The distribution coefficient (Kd) values of uranium ranged from 130–135 cm3/g with Laviosa and 78–110 cm3/g with LMS, while those of cesium ranged from 130–280 cm3/g with Laviosa and from 150–425 cm3/g with LMS. Cesium demonstrated sorption of 95% within the 10-10 to 10-6 M range, decreasing slightly to 85–95% at concentrations up to 10-2 M. Uranium showed sorption in the range 80–100% across both clays, peaking at lower concentrations and declining at higher concentrations. These data align with those of the reference buffer material, indicating that these bentonites could potentially serve as feasible alternatives if they exhibit additional favorable sorption capacity with other risk-driving radionuclides (e.g., Eu, Ni, Th).