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Title: Effect of Minerals on the Removal of Uranium (VI) in the Presence of Humic Acid and Colloidal Silica - 19406

Abstract

Uranium is one of the key contaminants of concern in groundwater as a result of past nuclear processing activities at the Department of Energy (DOE) facilities such as the Savannah River Site (SRS) in Aiken, South Carolina. SRS was one of the major nuclear processing facilities during the Cold War where plutonium was produced. Beginning with the implementation of the environmental cleanup program in 1981, SRS has become a hazardous waste management facility responsible for the storage and remediation of contaminated soil and groundwater from radionuclides. Approximately 1.8 billion gallons of acidic waste containing radionuclides and dissolved heavy metals was disposed in the F/H Area seepage basins. This led to the unintentional creation of highly contaminated groundwater plumes, consisting of radionuclides with an acidic pH between 3 and 5.5. The acidity of the plumes contributed to the mobility of several constituents of concern (COC) such as tritium ({sup 3}H), uranium-238 ({sup 238}U), iodine-129 ({sup 129}I), and strontium-90 ({sup 90}Sr) for the F-Area plume and {sup 3}H, {sup 90}Sr and mercury for the H-Area plume. This investigation will focus on uranium in the oxidation state +6 (U(VI)), which is a key contaminant of concern in the groundwater plume of the FArea.more » Initially, the pump-treat-reinject system was implemented from 1997 to 2003 to remove contaminants from polluted groundwater. Downgrade groundwater within the system would be pumped to the water treatment facility and re-injected upgrade within the aquifer. The effectiveness and sustainability of this process diminished over time. Therefore, it was discontinued and replaced with a funnel-and-gate process in 2004. This new process injects sodium hydroxide directly into the gates of the F-Area groundwater to effectively raise pH levels. By raising the pH of the groundwater, a treatment zone is created by reversing the acidic nature of the contaminated sediments and producing a negative net charge on the surface of sediment particles. As a result, the adsorption of cationic contaminants is expected to be enhanced. So far, this process has resulted in a decrease of {sup 90}Sr and {sup 238}U concentrations, though the concentration of iodine has been unaffected by this treatment. The solution used for the injections contains a high carbonate alkalinity in order to overcome the surface acidic conditions and natural partitions in the groundwater system. To maintain the neutral pH in the treatment zone, systematic injections are required. The continuous use of high concentrations of a carbonate solution to raise pH could re-mobilize uranium previously adsorbed within the treatment zone, though this has not been observed in the monitoring data. Humic substances (HS) are major components of soil organic matter. HS are polyfunctional organic macromolecules formed by the chemo-microbiological decomposition of biomass or dead organic matter. These substances are usually divided into three main fractions: humin (insoluble at all pH values), humic acid (soluble at pH greater than 3.5), and fulvic acid (soluble at all pH values). Humic acid carries a large number of functional groups such as aromatic rings, carboxyl groups, phenols, aliphatic chains, etc. Humic acid is an important ion exchange and metal complexing ligand with a high complexation capacity. The ability of humic acid to chemically bind to metals influences in their migration behavior and fate in natural systems. Various studies have suggested that the retention of U(VI) via sorption in the presence of humic acid is a complex process. For instance, humic acid can form an organic coating at the surface of minerals, which can enhance the sequestration of metals. Ivanov et al. (2012) studied the sorption of U(VI) sorption onto bentonite in the presence and absence of humic acid. The study found that uranium sorption in the presence of humic acid was enhanced at low pH (below 3.8) while at moderate pH (3.8 and 6.5) uranium sorption was reduced compared to the absence of humic acid. At high pH (7 and 9), uranium sorption was reduced for both the presence and absence of humic acid. Also, Krepelova et al. (2007) not only found that U(VI) sorption onto kaolinite was influenced by pH, U(VI) concentration, the presence of inorganic carbon species, and humic acid but also that U(VI) preferred to be adsorbed onto kaolinite as a uranyl-humate complex. This investigation analyzed the mechanisms of the synergetic interactions of humic acid and colloidal silica on the removal of uranium in the presence of pure minerals such as quartz, kaolinite and goethite which are characteristic of the F/H area. (authors)« less

Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. Applied Research Center - FIU (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
WM Symposia, Inc., PO Box 27646, 85285-7646 Tempe, AZ (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
23005312
Report Number(s):
INIS-US-21-WM-19406
TRN: US21V1239045646
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: WM2019: 45. Annual Waste Management Conference, Phoenix, AZ (United States), 3-7 Mar 2019; Other Information: Country of input: France; 26 refs.; available online at: https://www.xcdsystem.com/wmsym/2019/index.html
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; 38 RADIATION CHEMISTRY, RADIOCHEMISTRY AND NUCLEAR CHEMISTRY; BENTONITE; ECOLOGICAL CONCENTRATION; GROUND WATER; HEAVY METALS; HUMIC ACIDS; IODINE 129; ION EXCHANGE; KAOLINITE; PHENOL; PLUTONIUM; RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT; REMEDIAL ACTION; SAVANNAH RIVER PLANT; SEDIMENTS; SILICA; STRONTIUM 90; TRITIUM; URANIUM; URANIUM 238; WATER TREATMENT

Citation Formats

Delarosa, Katherine, Prasanth Gudavalli, Ravi Krishna, and Katsenovich, Yelena. Effect of Minerals on the Removal of Uranium (VI) in the Presence of Humic Acid and Colloidal Silica - 19406. United States: N. p., 2019. Web.
Delarosa, Katherine, Prasanth Gudavalli, Ravi Krishna, & Katsenovich, Yelena. Effect of Minerals on the Removal of Uranium (VI) in the Presence of Humic Acid and Colloidal Silica - 19406. United States.
Delarosa, Katherine, Prasanth Gudavalli, Ravi Krishna, and Katsenovich, Yelena. 2019. "Effect of Minerals on the Removal of Uranium (VI) in the Presence of Humic Acid and Colloidal Silica - 19406". United States.
@article{osti_23005312,
title = {Effect of Minerals on the Removal of Uranium (VI) in the Presence of Humic Acid and Colloidal Silica - 19406},
author = {Delarosa, Katherine and Prasanth Gudavalli, Ravi Krishna and Katsenovich, Yelena},
abstractNote = {Uranium is one of the key contaminants of concern in groundwater as a result of past nuclear processing activities at the Department of Energy (DOE) facilities such as the Savannah River Site (SRS) in Aiken, South Carolina. SRS was one of the major nuclear processing facilities during the Cold War where plutonium was produced. Beginning with the implementation of the environmental cleanup program in 1981, SRS has become a hazardous waste management facility responsible for the storage and remediation of contaminated soil and groundwater from radionuclides. Approximately 1.8 billion gallons of acidic waste containing radionuclides and dissolved heavy metals was disposed in the F/H Area seepage basins. This led to the unintentional creation of highly contaminated groundwater plumes, consisting of radionuclides with an acidic pH between 3 and 5.5. The acidity of the plumes contributed to the mobility of several constituents of concern (COC) such as tritium ({sup 3}H), uranium-238 ({sup 238}U), iodine-129 ({sup 129}I), and strontium-90 ({sup 90}Sr) for the F-Area plume and {sup 3}H, {sup 90}Sr and mercury for the H-Area plume. This investigation will focus on uranium in the oxidation state +6 (U(VI)), which is a key contaminant of concern in the groundwater plume of the FArea. Initially, the pump-treat-reinject system was implemented from 1997 to 2003 to remove contaminants from polluted groundwater. Downgrade groundwater within the system would be pumped to the water treatment facility and re-injected upgrade within the aquifer. The effectiveness and sustainability of this process diminished over time. Therefore, it was discontinued and replaced with a funnel-and-gate process in 2004. This new process injects sodium hydroxide directly into the gates of the F-Area groundwater to effectively raise pH levels. By raising the pH of the groundwater, a treatment zone is created by reversing the acidic nature of the contaminated sediments and producing a negative net charge on the surface of sediment particles. As a result, the adsorption of cationic contaminants is expected to be enhanced. So far, this process has resulted in a decrease of {sup 90}Sr and {sup 238}U concentrations, though the concentration of iodine has been unaffected by this treatment. The solution used for the injections contains a high carbonate alkalinity in order to overcome the surface acidic conditions and natural partitions in the groundwater system. To maintain the neutral pH in the treatment zone, systematic injections are required. The continuous use of high concentrations of a carbonate solution to raise pH could re-mobilize uranium previously adsorbed within the treatment zone, though this has not been observed in the monitoring data. Humic substances (HS) are major components of soil organic matter. HS are polyfunctional organic macromolecules formed by the chemo-microbiological decomposition of biomass or dead organic matter. These substances are usually divided into three main fractions: humin (insoluble at all pH values), humic acid (soluble at pH greater than 3.5), and fulvic acid (soluble at all pH values). Humic acid carries a large number of functional groups such as aromatic rings, carboxyl groups, phenols, aliphatic chains, etc. Humic acid is an important ion exchange and metal complexing ligand with a high complexation capacity. The ability of humic acid to chemically bind to metals influences in their migration behavior and fate in natural systems. Various studies have suggested that the retention of U(VI) via sorption in the presence of humic acid is a complex process. For instance, humic acid can form an organic coating at the surface of minerals, which can enhance the sequestration of metals. Ivanov et al. (2012) studied the sorption of U(VI) sorption onto bentonite in the presence and absence of humic acid. The study found that uranium sorption in the presence of humic acid was enhanced at low pH (below 3.8) while at moderate pH (3.8 and 6.5) uranium sorption was reduced compared to the absence of humic acid. At high pH (7 and 9), uranium sorption was reduced for both the presence and absence of humic acid. Also, Krepelova et al. (2007) not only found that U(VI) sorption onto kaolinite was influenced by pH, U(VI) concentration, the presence of inorganic carbon species, and humic acid but also that U(VI) preferred to be adsorbed onto kaolinite as a uranyl-humate complex. This investigation analyzed the mechanisms of the synergetic interactions of humic acid and colloidal silica on the removal of uranium in the presence of pure minerals such as quartz, kaolinite and goethite which are characteristic of the F/H area. (authors)},
doi = {},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/23005312}, journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {7}
}

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