Adsorption of radon on silver exchanged zeolites at ambient temperatures

Stephan Heinitz, Jasper Mermans, Dominic Maertens, Hanna Skliarova, Alexander Aerts, Thomas Cardinaels, Christophe Gueibe, Jos Rutten, Natalie Ireland, Daniel Kuznicki, Steven Kuznicki

Research outputpeer-review


Since more than 100 years, the adsorption of the radioactive noble gas radon (222Rn) is performed on activated charcoal at cryogenic temperatures. There is little—if any—progress in the field of radon adsorption at ambient conditions to facilitate the development of simple and compact radon adsorption systems. We report here on the truly remarkable property of the synthetic silver-exchanged zeolites Ag-ETS-10 and Ag-ZSM-5 to strongly adsorb radon gas at room temperature. 222Rn breakthrough experiments in nitrogen carrier gas have shown that these materials exhibit radon adsorption coefficients exceeding 3000 m3/kg at 293 K, more than two orders of magnitude larger than any noble gas adsorbent known to date. Water vapor and carrier gas type were found to strongly influence radon adsorption, practically qualifying these silver exchanged materials as a new class of radon adsorbents. Our results demonstrate that Ag-ETS-10 and Ag-ZSM-5 are materials that show high affinity towards radon gas at ambient temperatures making them candidate materials for environmental and industrial 222Rn mitigation applications. Adsorption systems based on silver loaded zeolites have the potential to replace activated charcoal as material of choice in many radon related research areas by avoiding the necessity of cryogenic cooling.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6811
Number of pages11
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023

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