Investigation of sequestration mechanisms of radionuclide 63Ni(II) on kaolinite in aqueous solutions

Research paper by Pengfei Zong, Hui Pan, Hai Wang, Chaohui He

Indexed on: 04 May '12Published on: 04 May '12Published in: Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry


To better understand the application of kaolinite as an adsorbent for the decontamination of Ni(II) from radionuclide contaminated aqueous systems, herein, the sorption behavior of radionuclide 63Ni(II) on kaolinite as a function of contacting time, pH, coexistent electrolyte ions, adsorbent concentration, fulvic acid and humic acid was investigated using batch technique. At low pH values, ion exchange and/or outer-sphere surface complexation was the main mechanism of Ni(II) sorption on kaolinite, whereas, the sorption of Ni(II) was dominated by inner-sphere surface complexation at high pH values. The presence of different electrolyte ions can enhance or inhibit the sorption of Ni(II) on kaolinite to some extent. The Langmuir and Freundlich models were used to simulate the sorption isotherms of Ni(II) at three different temperatures of 288, 313 and 338 K. The thermodynamic parameters (i.e., ΔS°, ΔH°, and ΔG°) calculated from the temperature-dependent sorption isotherms indicated that the sorption reaction of Ni(II) on kaolinite was endothermic and spontaneous. The findings in this present study demonstrates that the kaolinite can be used as a cost-effective adsorbent for the solidification and pre-concentration of Ni(II) from large volumes of aqueous systems.