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  • 1 Radiochemistry Laboratory, School of Nuclear Science and Technology, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, 730000 Gansu People’s Republic of China
  • | 2 Northwest Institute of Nuclear and Technology, Xi’an, 710024 Shaanxi People’s Republic of China
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The sorption of Eu(III) on calcareous soil as a function of pH, humic acid (HA), temperature and foreign ions was investigated under ambient conditions. Eu(III) sorption on soil was strongly pH dependent in the observed pH range. The effect of ionic strength was significant at pH < 7, and not obvious at pH > 8. The type of salt cation used had no visible influence on Eu(III) uptake on soil, however at low pH values, the influence of anions was following the order: Cl ≈ NO3 > ClO4. In the presence of HA, the sorption edge obviously shifted about two pH units to the lower pH, whilst in range of pH 6–7, the sorption of Eu(III) decreased with increasing pH because a considerable amount of Eu(III) was present as humate complexes in aqueous phase, then increased again at pH > 11. The results indicated that the sorption of Eu(III) on soil mainly formed outer-sphere complexes and/or ion exchange below pH ~7; whereas inner-sphere complexes and precipitation of Eu(OH)3(s) may play main role above pH ~8.