The purpose of this study is to analyse the behaviour of Sr90 and Cs137 on natural ion-exchangers such as lignite and soil. Lignite is a substance which is found in large quantities near the Belgian Nuclear Energy Research Centre (CEN) at Mol and is particularly useful in the processing of radioactive liquid wastes because of its ion-exchange properties. The physical and chemical characteristics of lignite which have a bearing on ion exchange are given in section 1 of this paper. The various ion equilibria which affect the processing of.radioactive liquid wastes are studied in section 2, which also lists the basic factors required for calculating the rate of saturation of a lignite column. The speed of ion migration in the soil is studied along the same lines as for lignite.