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The application of in situ formed mixed iron oxides in the removal of strontium and actinides from nuclear tank waste



This article discusses the experimental program conducted at Argonne National Laboratory to study the performance of in situ formed mixed iron oxides (IS-MIO) for the removal of strontium (Sr), plutonium (Pu), neptunium (Np), uranium (U), and americium (Am) from the Savannah River Site (SRS) radioactive tank waste. The boundaries for the experimental work were defined in collaboration with SRS. IS-MIO was actually found to be a mixture of Fe(II) and Fe(III) oxides and hydroxides, including magnetite. Decontamination factor (DF) values were measured for both IS-MIO and monosodium titanate (MST), the baseline sorbent used by SRS. DF values for IS-MIO were found to be superior to MST for all isotopes studied. DF values for Pu, Np, and Sr, achieved within 30 min of IS-MIO formation were orders of magnitude larger than the needed values. DF values for U and Am were less than the former three but still acceptable, and greater than MST. © 2010 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2010