Desorption of U(VI) from Montmorillonite with Aluminum and Iron Hydroxides Deposited on Its Surface

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Decontamination of uranium-containing samples based on montmorillonite from the Cherkassy deposit, with Al(III) and Fe(III) hydroxides (weight fraction with respect to metal 0 and 5%: M-0, MAl-5, and MFe-5) deposited on its surface, by desorption with complexing agents (EDTA, citric acid, oxalic acid, sodium carbonate) was studied. With respect to efficiency of U(VI) desorption from the sample surface, the ligands can be ranked in the following order: citric acid > oxalic acid > ETDA ≥ sodium carbonate. In neutral solutions, citric acid is the most effective and environmentally suitable. From M-0 and MAl-5 samples, U(VI) is desorbed completely, whereas in the case of MFe-5 about 15% of U is irreversibly bound to the surface.

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