Kinetically controlled release of uranium from soils

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Braithwaite, A., Livens, F. R., Richardson, S., Howe, M. and Goulding, K. W. T. 1997. Kinetically controlled release of uranium from soils. European Journal of Soil Science. 48 (4), pp. 661-673.

AuthorsBraithwaite, A., Livens, F. R., Richardson, S., Howe, M. and Goulding, K. W. T.

Although trade element uptake on and release from solid phases are fundamental controls on the migration of the elements in the environment, the controls are incompletely understood. The extraction of uranium from two soils, both of which have been labelled naturally with uranium, was therefore studied using a cation resin exchange technique. One soil was a peat from the Needle's Eye natural analogue site, Scotland, and the other was a calcareous brown earth from Derbyshire, England. The effects of different exchanging cations, solution pH and the presence of complexing anions (Cl-, CO32-, SO42-) in solution on uranium extraction were assessed. The extraction could be described by a simple, first-order kinetic model with up to three rate constants being identifiable in individual experiments. In both soils no single reaction pathway appeared to dominate, and extraction was slow, with rate constants of 10(-3)-10(-4)h(-1) in acid conditions and around 10(-6) h(-1) in neutral conditions. Half-times for uranium release in the experiments were in the range 30-60 days in acid and around 10 years in neutral conditions; in the held they are therefore expected to be several years at both sites. Incorporation of kinetic factors into a simple one-dimensional migration model illustrates that their overall effect is to retard migration. Ideally, therefore, reaction rates should be taken into account in predictive modelling of element transport.

KeywordsSoil Science
Year of Publication1997
JournalEuropean Journal of Soil Science
Journal citation48 (4), pp. 661-673
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or code108
Project: 031078
Project: 031480

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