A comparative study of the adsorption of uranium on commercial and natural (Cypriot) sea sand samples
SourceJournal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
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The adsorption of hexavalent uranium on two different types of sea sand [e.g. a local, Cypriot (N-SS) and a commercially available marine sediment (C-SS)] has been investigated as a function of pH, initial metal concentration, ionic strength and contact time under normal atmospheric conditions. Before carrying out the adsorption experiments, the sea sand samples have been characterized by XRD, XRF, N2-adsorption, acid/base titrations and FTIR spectroscopy. Sample characterization showed clearly that the two sea sand types differ significantly in their composition, particularly in their calcite and FeOOH content. According to experimental data obtained from acid/base titrations and adsorption batch experiments sea sand composition affects the acid/base and the adsorption properties of the adsorbents. The extraordinary high affinity of N-SS for hexavalent uranium in the alkaline pH region can be attributed to the formation of mixed U(VI)-carbonato surface species on the FeOOH crystall phases present in N-SS, which effectively compete the formation of U(VI)-carbonato complexes in solution. On the other hand, data obtained by adsorption experiments carried out in solution of different ionic strengths don't differ significantly from one another indicating the formation of inner-sphere complexes. Finally, the adsorption on sea sands is a relatively fast two-step process. © 2013 Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary.