Six column experiments were performed and seven breakthrough curves (BTCs) and seven displacement (desorption) curves (DPCs)
of phosphate and U(VI) were obtained, which demonstrated the effects of phosphate and Cr3+ on the sorption and transport of U(VI) on a silica column at pH 3 and uranium concentration 10−5–10−6 mol/L of the influent. It was found that in the presence of phosphate sorbed preliminarily on the silica column, the amount
of U(VI) sorbed on this column is significantly increased owing to the interaction of U(VI) with phosphate sorbed as compared
with that in the absence of phosphate, and the breakthrough and the mean residence time of U(VI) on this column are similar
to those in the absence of phosphate. While the effect of simultaneous injection of Cr3+ on the retardation of U(VI) on the silica column, the maximum concentration of BTC and the amount of U(VI) sorbed was found
to be insignificant. Transport and sorption studies of U(VI) are important, since all uranium isotopes are radioactive, there
is a need to understand the potential for migration away from radioactive waste storage and mill tailing sites.