- 12:30 PM

Colloids, Contaminants, and Surface Chemistry: Effect of Desorption Kinetics on the Facilitated Transport of Cesium and Strontium by Illite Colloids

Joseph N. Ryan1, Ned B. Turner1, and James E. Saiers2. (1) Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder, 428 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309, (2) School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Yale University, Sage Hall, 205 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511

We investigated the transport of the cations Cs+ and Sr2+ in flow-through and recirculating saturated quartz porous media in the absence and presence of illite colloids to examine the effect of cation desorption kinetics on colloid-facilitated transport. The illite colloids were equilibrated with radioactive isotopes of the cations (137Cs, 90Sr) at different ratios of colloid to cation concentrations. The colloid-cation suspensions were injected through the column at pH 7.3 and an ionic strength of 0.1 mM. In the flow-through column, the presence of colloids accelerated the transport of the cations. The time to breakthrough of the cations decreased as the ratio of colloid to cation concentrations increased. For a given colloid concentration, the breakthrough of Cs+ was more rapid than that of Sr2+. Analysis of the breakthrough data with a colloid-facilitated transport model showed that time to breakthrough decreased as cation association with the colloids increased and the rate of desorption of cations from the illite decreased. In the recirculating column, Sr2+ desorbed from the illite colloids more rapidly than Cs+. Initially, Cs+ desorbed from the colloids, but over time, the colloidal concentration of Cs+ increased. We attribute the accumulation of Cs+ on the colloids to the slow transfer of Cs+ to strong binding (“frayed edge”) sites on the illite colloids.