Radiocesium released by the severe nuclear accident and nuclear weapon test is a hazardous material. Illitic clays play a key role in the spatial distribution of radiocesium in groundwater environments due to selective uptake sites at the illite mineral, such as frayed edge sites. However, the cesium uptake capabilities of illitic clays are diverse, which could be associated with the illite crystallinity. This study was performed to determine the cesium uptake of illitic clays and evaluate the crystallinity effects on cesium uptake using statistical approaches. A total of 10 illitic clays showed various crystallinity, which was parameterized by the full width at half maximum (FWHM) at 10 Å XRD peak ranging from 0.15 to 0.64. The uptake behavior of illitic clays was well fitted with the Freundlich model (i.e., r2 > 0.946). The uptake efficiency of illitic clays increased with the decrease in dissolved cesium concentrations. The cesium uptake was significantly correlated with the FWHM and cation exchange capacity, suggesting that the uptake becomes higher with decreasing crystallinity through expansion of the edge site and/or formation of ion-exchangeable sites.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We gratefully acknowledge that this study was supported by the R&D Convergence Program of the National Research Council of Science & Technology in Korea (CAP-15-07-KICT) and the National Research Foundation (NRF-2019R1A2C1004891). S.C. and W.S. were supported by the Operation of Research Center for Geochronology and Isotope Analysis in the Korea Basic Science Institute (C030120).
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Aquatic Science
- Water Science and Technology