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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Adsorption of Curium-244: Effects of Dissolved Organics and Sediment Extractions1


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 13 No. 4, p. 553-556
    Received: Aug 27, 1983

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  1. Thomas H. Sibley and
  2. James J. Alberts2



Adsorption of 244Cm, a transuranic isotope that absorbs strongly to suspended sediments, was measured on untreated and extracted sediments in filtered and ultrafiltered water. Partition coefficients (Kd) ranged from 7 × 103 to 5 × 105. The most important observations concern the role of dissolved and particulate organic matter. Ultrafiltration of water to remove dissolved organic compounds significantly reduced the concentration of soluble Cm and increased Kd for all types of sediments. Extraction of sediments with NaOH to remove humic and fulvic acids also increased Kd values. This may result because previously blocked adsorption sites are available for Cm adsorption or because particulate organics in unextracted sediments are solubilized during the experiments. Removal of hydrous oxides from sediments by extraction with sodium citrate/sodium dithionate or hydroxylamine-hydrochloride did not produce consistent effects. It is suggested that hydrous oxides may be important for long-term sediment-water partitioning of Cm, but the initial adsorption is determined by interactions with dissolved and particulate organic matter.

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