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  Global Journal of Environmental Science and Technology 2011, 1: 6
  Research Article
Solution chemistry effects on sorption behavior of radionuclide Th(iv) in Na-bentonite suspensions
  Hui Zhang, Lei Chen, Suowei Wang, Yunhui Dong, Xianjin Yu  
School of Chemical Engineering, Shandong University of Technology, Zibo, 255049, P.R. China
  Bentonite has been studied extensively because of its strong sorption and complexation ability. In this work, sorption of Th(IV) from aqueous solution onto Na-bentonite as a function of pH, ionic strength, foreign ions, fulvic acid (FA) was investigated under ambient conditions. The results indicate that the sorption of Th(IV) is strongly dependent on pH and ionic strength at pH<5, and is independent of ionic strength at pH>5. Outer-sphere surface complexation or ion-exchange in inter-layer sites of the montmorillonite fraction of the Na-bentonite may be the main sorption mechanism of Th(IV) to Na-bentonite at low pH values, whereas the sorption of Th(IV) at pH>5 is mainly dominated by inner-sphere surface complexation or surface precipitation. Soil fulvic acid has a positive influence on the sorption of Th(IV) on Na-bentonite at pH<5. The competition for Th(IV) between aqueous or surface adsorbed cation ions (e.g., herein Li+, Na+ and K+) and surface functional groups of Na-bentonite is important for Th(IV) sorption. Experimental results indicate that bentonite is a suitable sorbent for pre-concentration and solidification of Th(IV) from large volume of solutions.
  Sorption; Bentonite; pH; Thorium; Fulvic acid  

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