Sorption kinetics of uranium-238 and neptunium-237 on a glacial sediment

A. Braithwaite*, S. Richardson, L. N. Moyes, F. R. Livens, D. J. Bunker, C. R. Hughes, J. T. Smith, J. Hilton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Studies of uptake of radionuclides by natural materials have shown that sorption may occur via fast equilibrium exchange and/or slow kinetic processes, which can be described using a series of box models. This paper describes the use of such models to evaluate the solid-solution partitioning of 238U and 237Np on a clay rich sediment. Experimental data are obtained using the batch sorption technique, which are then analysed using 1, 2, and 3 box kinetic models. Uptake of 238U is initially rapid, with approximately 90% sorbed within the first 30 minutes. Sorption continues, but at a slower rate. Uptake of 237 Np is initially slower than U, with approximately 30% sorbed within the first 30 minutes. Sorption again continues, at a slower rate. Analysis of the experimental data indicates that sorption can be described using 2 and 3 box kinetic models. The results demonstrate that sorption of uranium and neptunium on clay rich sediments occurs via equilibrium and kinetically controlled pathways, with neptunium being controlled by kinetics to a greater extent than uranium. The 2 or 3 box model can describe sorption of neptunium, uranium requires the 3 box model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-269
Number of pages5
JournalCzechoslovak Journal of Physics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2000


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