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On the study of Th(IV)-humic acid interactions by competition sorption studies with silica and determination of global interaction constants

Pascal E. Reiller 1, * V. Moulin F. Casanova Christian Dautel
* Corresponding author
1 LSRM - Laboratoire de Spéciation des Radionucléides et des Molécules
DPC - Département de Physico-Chimie : DEN/DPC
Abstract : The influence of humic acids (HA) on the retention of thorium (IV) onto the surface of silica colloids is investigated. Thorium is considered as an analogue of tetravalent actinides (U, Np, Pu), except for the fact that it has no f electrons. Silica (SiO2) is chosen as a model surface because it is a component of many minerals and because of its weak HA sorption properties. Retention experiments are performed by batch procedure at constant ionic strength (I = 0.1M NaClO4), at various pH (2 to 9) and HA concentrations (1–100 mg/L). The sorption of Th(IV) onto colloidal amorphous silica is characterised using a surface complexation model. The ternary system (i.e. HA-Th-Silica) clearly shows the influence of HA on Th(IV) retention. This can lead to a strong reduction of the amount of Th(IV) sorbed onto silica in the presence of HA compared to silica colloids without HA, due to a predominant part of thorium present in solution as humic complexes. In a pH range where no organic coating onto silica occurs, there is a competitive reaction between Th(IV) sorption onto the silica surface and onto HA reactive functional groups. In this case, Schubert's method is applied to obtain a global interaction constant for the Th(IV)-HA system. The large interaction constant values indicate a strong affinity of HA for Th(IV).
Keywords : Humic silica thorium
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Pascal E. Reiller, V. Moulin, F. Casanova, Christian Dautel. On the study of Th(IV)-humic acid interactions by competition sorption studies with silica and determination of global interaction constants. Radiochimica Acta, R Oldenbourg Verlag GMBH, 2003, 91 (9), pp.513-524. ⟨10.1524/ract.91.9.513.20000⟩. ⟨cea-00288418⟩

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