Plutonium-239 sorption and transport on/in unsaturated sediments: comparison of batch and column experiments for determining sorption coefficients
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- Xie, J., Lu, J., Zhou, X. et al. J Radioanal Nucl Chem (2013) 296: 1169. doi:10.1007/s10967-012-1960-2
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Sorption (distribution) coefficients of plutonium were most often derived by static batch experiments. However, it is not clear how unsaturated flow conditions including moisture content and pore water velocity change the sorption coefficients. Transport experiments of plutonium through the unsaturated sediments packed into the columns were then performed in order to determine the sorption coefficients (column-Kds). Static batch experiments were also conducted to obtain batch-Kds and then compare the differences between batch-Kds and column-Kds. The results show that unsaturated flow conditions had no significant effect on column-Kds, and the average column-Kd value was 1.74 ± 0.02 m3/kg. By comparison, batch-Kd values spanned several orders of magnitude, regardless of the specified liquid–solid conditions. Moreover, the batch-Kd (22.7 m3/kg) at the standard L/S (4 mL/g) recommended by ASTM D 4319 was over an order of magnitude larger than the average column-Kd.