Date of Award

5-1-1997

Degree Type

Thesis

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

Degree Name

M.S.

Department

Chemistry

First Advisor

Professor Cass D. Parker

Abstract

Zeolites, having stable porous structures and high ion exchange capabilities are potential buffer materials that can be added to a soil matrix to improve the ion exchange ability. This study investigated the performance of various zeolites for the uptake of uranium as soluble UO22+, with the ultimate goal being to develop an in situ ion trap to immobilize potentially leachable residue in uranium contaminated soils. The natural zeolite, clinoptilolite and synthetic zeolites, K-L, LZY, 13X, and mordenite were evaluated for the uptake of UO22+ in both batch and column percolation studies. In the preliminary batch and column studies, mordenite, LZY, and K-L were most effective for uranium uptake. The pH was an important factor in governing which uranium species would be present in solution. In the pH controlled batch studies, mordenite demonstrated superior performance to the other zeolites as well as to a clay-soil for uranium uptake. With time, initially absorbed uranium was dissolved from the soil into solution whereas the zeolite showed no such release of uranium. Uranium uptake was found to be dependent on zeolite pore size, solution pH, cation concentrations, and amount of sorbent

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