Effects of the presence of Fe(0) on the sorption of lanthanum and lutetium mixtures in smectites

Evgeny Galunin, María D. Alba, Maria J. Santos, Miquel Vidal

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The sorption of La and Lu mixtures was examined in two bentonites after incubation for three months at 20 and 80°C with Fe(0), as a laboratory approach to evaluate the effects of waste canister corrosion in a deep repository on the performance of clay engineered barriers. The sorption/desorption parameters were determined from batch tests in two ionic media: deionized water and, to consider the additional effect of cement leachates, 0.02molL -1 Ca. Results from XRD analyses showed the formation of crystalline FeO(OH), goethite, in a few samples and the degradation of the bentonites due to Fe(0) oxidation during incubation. Moreover, the EDX spectra showed that the lanthanides were sorbed primarily at smectite sites, although sorption onto goethite was also observed, whereas Fe(0) particles did not contribute to lanthanide sorption. The formation of goethite could explain the high K d values measured in a few scenarios (e.g., those with single solutions or mixtures with the lowest initial concentration of the competitive lanthanide in which high affinity sites governed sorption), with up to 3-fold increases over the values obtained without Fe incubation. However, at higher lanthanide concentration, K d values decreased or remained constant compared to the samples without Fe incubation, which could be explained by bentonite degradation. In the Ca medium, as much as 5 times lower K d values were obtained, because of the competitive effect of the Ca ions, especially for Lu in the MX80 bentonite. This indicated that the small number of high affinity sites had been diminished. The sorption data were satisfactorily fitted to a two-solute Langmuir model. In addition, K d values correlated well with desorption data, which showed that the larger the decrease in K d, the larger the increase in sorption reversibility. It is suggested that corrosion products from the metal canister might compromise the long-term radionuclide retention of the clay-engineered barriers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-172
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Clay Science
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Bentonite
  • Clay minerals
  • Iron corrosion
  • Radiactive waste
  • Sorption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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