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Title: Progress Report on FY15 Crystalline Experiments M4FT-15LL0807052

Colloid-facilitated plutonium transport is expected to be the dominant mechanism in its migration through the environment. The forms of Pu colloids (intrinsic versus pseudo-colloid) and their stabilities control temporal and spatial scales of Pu transport in the environment. In the present study, we examine the stability of Pu intrinsic colloids freshly prepared in alkaline solution relative to Pu-montmorillonite pseudo-colloids using a dialysis device and modeling approaches. Intrinsic colloids prepared under alkaline conditions were found to be unstable over a timescale of months. The kinetics of multiple processes, including hydrolysis/precipitation of Pu(IV), dissolution of intrinsic colloids in the absence and presence of the clay colloids, transport of dissolved Pu species across the dialysis membrane, and formation of pseudo-colloids were examined. The dissolution of intrinsic colloids was the rate-limiting process in most cases. The apparent intrinsic colloid dissolution rate constants range from 6×10-7 to 1×10- 6 mol·m-2·day-1 and 4×10-6 to 8×10-6 mol·m-2·day-1 at 25 and 80°C, respectively, while the apparent diffusion rate constants for Pu ions crossing the dialysis membrane are >200 times higher. Elevated temperatures enhance dissolution of Pu colloids and the activation energy for the process is estimated to be 28 kJ mol-1. The sorption of Pu to montmorillonite appearsmore » to be endothermic as the affinity of Pu for the clay increases with increasing temperature. Our results provide an in-depth understanding of how intrinsic and pseudo-colloids interact with each other kinetically. Although the fact that intrinsic colloids tend to dissolve in the presence of montmorillonite and transform into pseudo-colloids may limit the migration of intrinsic colloids, the thermodynamically more stable pseudo-colloids may play an important role in Pu transport in the environment over significant temporal and spatial scales.« less
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  1. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
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Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
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Country of Publication:
United States