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Abstract  

A silica-titania (Si–Ti) mixed hydroxide gel with Ti to Si mole ratio of 11 was prepared. Studies on the sorption of radiostrontium from alkaline solutions having various concentrations of sodium were carried out with Si–Ti. The distribution coefficient (K d) of strontium decreased with increasing concentrations of sodium from 0.1 to 4.0 mol·dm–3. The plot of logK d versus log [Na+] gave a slope of –0.55 as against the theoretical value of –2.0. This suggests that some other paths in addition to the simple stoichiometric ion exchange is also existing for sorption. From pH titrations the pHpzc of Si–Ti was found to be 4.22 coinciding nearly with the pH sorption edge. An attempt was made to correlate the sorption results with the surface characteristics of the sorbent. It was found that sorption is favored when the surface of the sorbent transforms into an anionic form. Sharp increase in the sorption of strontium was observed when the equilibrium pH was between 7 and 10. This behavior could be attributed to the abrupt increase in net negative charge on the surface of the sorbent.

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Abstract  

The amphoteric nature of hydrous silica-titania gel and its sorption behaviour towards cesium were studied. In NaNO3 solution, the point of zero change (pHpzc) of the gel was found to be 4.22 by pH-titration. The fraction of protonated, deprotonated and neutral surface hydroxyl groups as a function of pH have been computed. Sorption of cesium increased with the increase of pH, reached maximum at a pH of 7 followed by a plateau. Significant uptake of cesium was observed even when the pH was less than pHpzc. Nearly 70% sorption was observed at pHpzc. The free energy of specific adsorption was found to be –18.7 kJ·mol–1.

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Abstract  

Laboratory experiments were performed on the sorption of cesium on gamma-irradiated silica-titania gel. The detrimental effects of absorbed dose on the affinity of the sorbent towards cesium was discussed. Data obtained from sorption studies were fit into heterogeneity based Freundlich isotherm. The empirical parameters, thus obtained were used to arrive at the site distribution function. The potential of site distribution function in foreseeing, the reusability and long-term residence of radionuclides in the sorbent has been highlighted.

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Abstract  

Three different resins containing ammonium molybdophosphate (AMP), viz. PMMA (polymethylmethacrylate) resin, composite AMP resin and ALIX (a bisphenol based resin), were evaluated for their irradiation stability. The studies included batch as well as column studies and were carried out for cesium uptake behaviour at 3 M acidity. The resin beads were irradiated to varying dose viz., 0 MRad, 10 MRad, 20 MRad, 50 MRad and 100 MRad. The time taken to attain equilibrium was rather long and about 2–5 h were found to be required for attaining equilibrium in batch studies. Batch Cs(I) uptake studies revealed no significant effect on the K d values in case of the PMMA resin while in case of the composite resin and ALIX resin, a decrease in the K d was observed as a function of irradiation dose. The resin capacity indicated contrasting behaviour with irradiation dose for the resins. Column runs have been carried out for the uptake of radio cesium using both unirradiated and irradiated resins using feed solutions containing 3 MHNO3. The loading capacities of the resins were found to be proportional to their Cs loading capacities observed in batch studies. Study revealed that the composite AMP had the maximum and PMMA has the least loading capacity. Results of these studies show that these AMP based resins can be used for cesium separation from acidic nuclear waste.

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Abstract  

Feasibility of using fixed bed column of conventional ion exchangers/sorbent and chemical precipitation based processes have been examined for the effective removal of the very low levels of 106Ru activity from NH4NO3 effluent generated during wet processing of rejected sintered depleted uranium fuel pellets. Based on the results, a simple process involving precipitation of cobalt sulphide along with ferric hydroxide was selected and further optimization of process variables was carried out. The optimized process has been found to be highly efficient in reducing 106Ru activity down to extremely low levels.

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Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Authors: R. Chitnis, P. Wattal, A. Ramanujam, P. Dhami, V. gopalakrishnan, A. Bauri, and A. Banerji

Abstract  

These studies are an extension of carlier work on the recovery of actinides extracted by Truex solvent from simulated high level waste solution, with a mixture of weak acid, weak base and complexing agent used as a strippant. The effectiveness of the proposed strippant, consisting of formic acid, hydrazine hydrate and citric acid, is tested in a counter-current mode using mixer-settler in the present studies. The studies show that near quantitative recovery of americium and plutonium is feasible from acid-bearing Truex solvent with no reflux (reextration) of activity. Use of this strippant reduces considerably the generation of secondary waste.

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Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Authors: R. Chitnis, P. Wattal, A. Ramanujam, P. Dhami, V. Gopalakrishanan, A. Bauri, and A. Banerji

Abstract  

This work deals with the batch studies on stripping of actinides extracted by a mixture octyl(phenyl)-N,N-diisobutyl-carbamoylmethylphosphine oxide (CMPO) and tri-n-butyl phosphate (TBP) in n-dodecane (Truex solvent) from simulated high level waste (HLW) solution. The stripping of americium and plutonium from acid-bearing CMPO-TBP mixture is carried out using a mixture of weak acid, weak base and complexing agent as strippant. A mixture of formic acid, hydrazine hydrate and citric acid appeared to be best suited for efficient stripping of americium and plutonium. With appropriate modifications in the concentration of individual constitutents, this strippant can be used for the recovery of actinides from loaded Truex solvent with any acid content.

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Summary  

Potassium nickel hexacyanoferrate composite with magnetite finds application in the recovery of cesium from low-level liquid waste using magnetic assistance. The apparent sorption capability of hexacyanoferrate-magnetite composite and potassium nickel(II) hexacyanoferrate(II) matched indicating no loss in sorption capability as a consequence of coating to nanoscale magnetite substrate. Selectivity for cesium in a broad pH range, selectivity in the presence of high concentration of sodium nitrate, and fast exchange kinetics are additional features of the nanocomposites.

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Chemical (N' methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine) mutagenesis and penicillin selection were utilised to isolate a phenotypically altered mutant of cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. This mutant (ntm60A) exhibited enhanced protein content and nitrogen fixing potential but lower amount of chlorophyll and nitrate reductase activity. A remarkable and significant increase was observed in the total phycobiliprotein content of the mutant, especially in relation to the amount of phycoerythrin. This strain can be exploited as a rich source of natural coloring agent such as phycobilins in the bioindustry.

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Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Authors: J. Mathur, M. Murali, M. Balarama Krishna, R. Iyer, R. Chitnis, P. Wattal, A. Bauri, and A. Banerji

Abstract  

The partitioning and recovery of237Np from three types of simulated high level waste solutions originating from PUREX processing of spent nuclear fuels such as sulfate bearing high level waste (SB-HLW), HLW from a pressurised heavy water reactor (PHWR-HLW) and from a fast breeder reactor (FBR-HLW) have been carried out using a mixture of 0.2M CMPO and 1.2M TBP in dodecane. Quantitative extraction of neptunium was possible by either oxidizing it to the hexavalent state keeping K2Cr2O7 at 0.01M concentration or by reducing it to tetravalent state keeping Fe2+ at 0.02M concentration. Stripping of neptunium was carried out using different reagents, such as dilute nitric acid, oxalic acid and sodium carbonate. Almost quantitative recovery of neptunium has been achieved during these studies.

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