Probing and understanding interaction of Eu(III) with γ- alumina in presenceof malonic acid

B.S. Tomar , Madhuri A Patel , Aishwarya Soumitra Kar , Vaibhavi V Raut


Received April 23, 2020,Revised , Accepted July 18, 2020, Available online July 28, 2020

Volume 100,2021,Pages 181-192

Radionuclide migration in aquatic environment is influenced by its sorption onto colloids/mineral oxides and the presence of organic complexing anions. With a view to understand the sorption of trivalent actinides by mineral oxides in presence of organic acid, in the present study, Eu(III), malonic acid (MA) and γ-alumina are considered as representatives of trivalent actinides, low molecular weight natural occurring organic acid and aluminol sites, respectively. The influence of MA on sorption of Eu(III) by γ-alumina was elucidated by batch sorption, spectroscopic techniques and surface complexation modeling, for the first time. Attenuated Total Reflection-Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopic studies of MA sorbed on γ-alumina revealed the presence of two inner-sphere surface complexes. Batch sorption for binary (alumina-Eu(III)) and ternary (alumina-Eu(III)-MA) systems were investigated as a function of pH, Eu(III) concentration and sequential addition of Eu(III)/MA. The pH edge for Eu(III) sorption shifts to higher pH with increasing Eu(III) concentration. In ternary systems, Eu(III) sorption is significantly enhanced at pH < 4.5. Eu(III) speciation on γ-alumina is independent of addition sequence of Eu(III)/MA. Time resolved fluorescence spectroscopy of Eu(III) sorbed on γ-alumina exhibited two surface species, triple bondXOEu2+ and (triple bondYO)2Eu+. The enhancement in I616/I592 and lifetime for ternary systems, as compared to binary system, at low pH, indicates the participation of Eu-MA complexes in the formation of surface species in ternary systems. The diffuse layer model has been employed to successfully model the experimental sorption profiles of binary and ternary systems, using code FITEQL 4.0, by considering the surface species identified by spectroscopic techniques.

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