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Distribution of naturally occurring radionuclides (U, Th) in Timahdit black shale (Morocco)

Abstract : Attention has been focused recently on the use of Moroccan black oil shale as the raw material for production of a new type of adsorbent and its application to U and Th removal from contaminated wastewaters. The purpose of the present work is to provide a better understanding of the composition and structure of this shale and to determine its natural content in uranium and thorium. A black shale collected from Timahdit (Morocco) was analyzed by powder X-ray diffraction and SEM techniques. It was found that calcite, dolomite, quartz and clays constitute the main composition of the inorganic matrix. Pyrite crystals are also present. A selective leaching procedure, followed by radiochemical purification and α-counting, was performed to assess the distribution of naturally occurring radionuclides. Leaching results indicate that 238U, 235U, 234U, 232Th, 230Th and 228Th have multiple modes of occurrence in the shale. U is interpreted to have been concentrated under anaerobic conditions. An integrated isotopic approach showed the preferential mobilization of uranium carried by humic acids to carbonate and apatite phases. Th is partitioned between silicate minerals and pyrite.
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Contributor : Béatrice Forrler <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, February 27, 2007 - 4:34:51 PM
Last modification on : Friday, May 8, 2020 - 1:10:01 AM
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C. Galindo, L. Mougin, S. Fakhi, A. Nourreddine, A. Lamghari, et al.. Distribution of naturally occurring radionuclides (U, Th) in Timahdit black shale (Morocco). Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, Elsevier, 2007, 92, pp.41-54. ⟨10.1016/j.jenvrad.2006.09.005⟩. ⟨in2p3-00133780⟩



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