On diffusion of organic colloids in compacted bentonite
The main issue of this thesis was to obtain information ondiffusion and sorption behaviour on organic colloids incompacted bentonite through experimental studies. It was tostudy if bentonite is an efficient barrier for organic colloidsor not. If colloids diffuse into bentonite in sufficientconcentrations, the speciation and sorption characteristics ofdiffusing radionuclides will change. Colloids might facilitatetransport, especially of radionuclides immobilised by strongsorption on bentonite.Laboratory experiments were performed to determine thestability of humic substances (HS) and bentonite colloids insolutions of ionic strengths representative for deep graniticgroundwaters. The HS but not the bentonite colloids were foundto be stable in these conditions.The competition between complexation with HS and sorption onbentonite of the cations Sr(II) and Eu(III) were studied inbatch experiments. Eu(III) was foundto complex with HS to bigextent. If HS is present in sufficient concentrations andstable in compacted bentonite, the Eu(III)-HS will be a speciesthat has to be accounted for. Sr(II) sorption decreases in thepresence of HS at ionic strength 0.01 M, but not at 0.1 M.Sr(II) sorbs weakly on bentonite and forms weak complexes withHS.The diffusion of Sr(II) in bentonite compacted to 1.8 g/cm3dry density and equilibrated with 0.1 M NaClO4 solutions wasstudied with and without HS in the system. The HS concentrationwas varied between 0.1 and 0.2 g/l. The Sr(II) diffusion wasnot affected by the presence of HS, which is in agreement withthe competition data of complexation to HS and sorption onbentonite.Diffusion of Co(II) and Eu(III) was studied in bentonite ofcompaction 0.6-1.8 g/cm3in the presence of HS. Eu(III)diffusion without HS in the system was studied as well. Co(II)diffusivity was found to increase significantly in the presenceof HS and the Kd-values decreased drastically. The decrease inthe Kd-values was found to be ionic strength dependent. This isexplained by HS complexation capacity decreases with increasingionic strength. The results indicate that the strongly surfacecomplexed Co(II) is mobilised by HS, but the Co-HS is not theonly diffusing Co(II) species in the experimental conditions ofthis study.Considering that Eu(III) sorbs strongly on bentonite, thediffusivity of Eu(III) was found to be rather high at ionicstrength 0.01 M. The high diffusivity rates are explained bythat the cation-exchanged Eu(III) around 1 % of the totalsorption is in practise mobile. In the presence of HS, Eu(III)diffusivity increases and the sorption decrease drastically.The Eu(III)-HS seems to be the dominating Eu(III) species whenthe HS concentrations are sufficiently high, and the HSsorption and diffusivity govern the system.Keywords:Diffusion, sorption, complexation, stability,bentonite, humic substances, Sr(II), Co(II) and Eu(III).
School:Kungliga Tekniska högskolan
Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation
Keywords:Diffusion; sorption; Humic Substances; Bentonite
Date of Publication:01/01/2003