Application of silver-exchanged zeolite for radioxenon mitigation at fission-based medical isotope production facilities

Christophe Gueibe, Jos Rutten, Johan Camps, Dominique Moyaux, Wouter Schroeyers, Matthias Auer, Sonja Schreurs

    Research outputpeer-review


    Atmospheric radioxenon releases from fission-based medical isotope production facilities are the main contributors to the radioxenon background being observed in the International Monitoring System (IMS) for the verification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. This background is impacting the detection capability of the IMS network for potential nuclear explosions. Reducing the radioxenon emissions from these facilities requires the optimization of the corresponding filtration process. The investigation of more efficient Xe adsorption materials than Activated Carbon (AC), which is currently used for this application, can play an important role for such an optimization. In this work, the Xe adsorption capacity of silver-exchanged zeolites (AgZs) is compared to the one of ACs in relevant conditions for fission-based medical isotope production facilities. The most promising AgZ candidate, a silver-exchanged titanosilicate (Ag-ETS-10), is investigated in more detail for its application to further reduce radioxenon releases. As operational conditions depend on the production and off-gas treatment processes, the effect of Xe concentration, flow rate, temperature and moisture on the Xe adsorption in Ag-ETS-10 is reported. Furthermore, since AgZs are far more expensive than ACs, it is crucial to be able to regenerate the material, whilst maintaining its full Xe adsorption properties for successive reuse. Accordingly, the durability of Ag-ETS-10 is investigated with regard to desorption and adsorption cycles but also with regard to gamma irradiation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)576-588
    Number of pages13
    JournalProcess Safety and Environmental Protection
    StatePublished - Feb 2022

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