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Journal Articles Applied Geochemistry Year : 2012

Sorption of selenite in a multi-component system using the "dialysis membrane" method

J. Muller
Abdesselam Abdelouas
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Solange Ribet
Bernd Grambow


Abstract 79Se is a potentially mobile long-lived fission product, which may make a dominant contribution to the long-term radiation exposure resulting from deep geological disposal of radioactive waste. Its mobility is affected by sorption on minerals. Selenium sorption processes have been studied mainly by considering interaction with a single mineral surface. In the case of multi-component systems (e.g. soils), it is difficult to predict the radioelement behaviour only from the mineral constituents. This study contributes to the understanding of multi-component controls of Se concentrations towards predicting Se behaviour in soils after migration from a disposal site. This goal was approached by measuring selenite sorption on mono and multi-phase systems physically separated by dialysis membranes. To the best of the authors' knowledge, very few studies have used dialysis membranes to study the sorption competition of selenite between several mineral phases. Other workers have used this method to study the sorption of pesticides on montmorillonite in the presence of dissolved organic matter. Indeed, this method allows measurement of individual Kd in a system composed of several mineral phases. Dialysis membranes allowed (i) determination of the competition of two mineral phases for selenite sorption (ii) and determination of the role of humic acids (HAs) on selenite sorption in oxidising conditions. Experimental results at pH 7.0 show an average Se(IV) sorption distribution coefficient (Kd) of approximately 125 and 9410 L kg−1 for bentonite and goethite, respectively. The average Kd for goethite decreases to 613 L kg−1 or 3215 L kg−1 in the presence of bentonite or HA, respectively. For bentonite, the average Kd decreases slightly in the presence of goethite (60 L kg−1) and remains unchanged in the presence of HA. The experimental data were successfully modelled with a surface complexation model using the PHREEQC geochemical code. The drastic decrease in Se(IV) sorption on goethite in a multi-phase system is attributed to competition with dissolved silica released by bentonite. As with Si the HA compete with Se for sorption sites on goethite.

Dates and versions

in2p3-00881415 , version 1 (08-11-2013)



J. Muller, Abdesselam Abdelouas, Solange Ribet, Bernd Grambow. Sorption of selenite in a multi-component system using the "dialysis membrane" method. Applied Geochemistry, 2012, 27, pp.2524-2532. ⟨10.1016/j.apgeochem.2012.07.023⟩. ⟨in2p3-00881415⟩
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