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Interactions of radionuclides with cellulose degradation products

By Charlotte Rebecca Heath


A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.The aim of this work was to determine the solubility of radionuclides in solutions of cellulose\ud degradation products (COP) and isosaccharinic acid (ISA) the main product of cellulose\ud degradation. Thorium was the main radionuclide investigated as the solubility of tetravalent\ud actinides in the near field of a nuclear waste repository at high pH and low Eh has been shown\ud to increase in the presence of such ligands. The measurement of thorium solubility was\ud achieved by using different methods e.g. liquid scintillation counting, gamma spectrometry,\ud ICP-MS and ICP-OES. ICP-OES was shown to be the most accurate method for this analysis.\ud Various methods have been used to obtain solubility values e.g:. undersaturation arid\ud oversaturation, and these have been investigated to determine whether the values obtained from\ud these methods differ. Solubility studies were carried out at different pHs (6, 8 and 12). The\ud kinetics of the complexation of thorium with ISA and with COP were investigated at these\ud pHs. The concentration of ISA in a solution of synthesised 10% COP was approximately·O.OI\ud mol dm·3\ud In high pH solutions, the solubility of thorium was found to be 31 times greater in a\ud solution of COP compared to a solution of ISA at the same ISA concentration. No significant\ud differences in thorium solubilities were found in similar solutions at pH 6 and 8....

Publisher: © Charlotte Rebecca Heath
Year: 2008
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