Radiostrontium sorption on natural glauconite sands of the Neogene-Paleogene formations in Belgium

Yaana Bruneel, Liesbeth Van Laer, Stéphane Brassinnes, Erik Smolders

Research outputpeer-review


The Neogene-Paleogene glauconite sands are investigated for radionuclide sorption in the framework of the Belgian radioactive waste disposal program. This study was set up to measure the adsorption of radiostrontium (85Sr) on the sands and on glauconite fractions to identify factors explaining variable sorption among different formations. Batch 85Sr sorption experiments were set up with 45 different glauconite sands and glauconite fractions (125–250 μm) in a background solution of 1 mM CaCl2.H2O and 0.5 mM KCl. The distribution coefficients (KD) for 85Sr2+ ranged 23–65 L kgô€€€ 1 for the intact sands and ranged 50–144 L kgô€€€ 1 for the glauconite fractions. The KD values strongly correlated with the CEC (R2 = 0.62 for sands and 0.82 for glauconite fractions) and corresponded well with CEC based predictions based on two existing models calibrated to soils. The KD on the complete sand is proportional to the glauconite content and the KD of the glauconite fraction if no other clay minerals are present in significant amounts. Sorption equilibrium was reached within 48 h in the complete sands, in milled complete sands, in glauconite fractions and in milled glauconite fractions, suggesting no diffusive boundaries in the glauconite pellets. It is concluded that glauconite sands have a suitably high retention of radiostrontium and the sorption strength is in line with that of other geological barriers when judged from th
Original languageEnglish
Article number106588
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of environmental radioactivity
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2021

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