The Effect of the Concentration of Oxidant, Cr(VI), on the Iron Oxidation in Saline Water

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Hyangsig Ahn1, Ho Young Jo1, Ji-Hun Ryu2 and Young-Kwon Koh2, (1)Korea University, Seoul, South Korea, (2)KAERI Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Daejeon, South Korea
Deep geological disposal is currently considered as the most appropriate method to isolate high level radioactive wastes (HLRWs) from the ecosystem. If groundwater seeps into underground disposal facilities, water molecules can be dissociated to radicals or peroxides, which can oxidize metal canisters and HLRWs. The oxidized radionuclides with a high solubility can be dissolved in the groundwater. Some dissolved radionuclides can act as oxidants. The continuous radiolysis of water molecules, which results from continuous seepage of groundwater, can enable the continuous production of the radioactive oxidants, resulting in an increase in concentration of oxidants. In this study, the effect of oxidant concentration on iron oxidation in the presence of salt was evaluated. Zero valent iron (ZVI) particles were reacted with Cr(VI) solutions with initial Cr(VI) concentrations ranged from 50 to 300 mg/L in reactors. The initial pH and NaCl concentration were fixed at 3 and 0.5 M, respectively. An increase in the initial Cr(VI) concentration caused an increase in the rate and extend of H2 gas production. The decrement of Cr(VI) was increased as the initial Cr(VI) concentration was increased. The penetration of H+ ions in the presence Cl- ions through the passive film on the ZVI particles caused the reaction between H+ ions and ZVI particles, producing H2 gas and Fe2+ ions. The passive film was damaged during the reaction due to the eruption of H2 gas or peptization by Cl- ions. The Fe2+ ions were reacted with Cr(VI) ions in the solution, producing Fe(III)-Cr(III) (oxy)hydroxides on the passive film of ZVI particles or in the solution as colloidal particles. The Fe(III)-Cr(III) (oxy)hydroxides tends to be precipitated as colloidal particles at a high Cr(VI) concentration and precipitated on the passive film at a low Cr(VI) concentration. The passive film was repaired or thickened by additional formation of Fe(III)-Cr(III) (oxy)hydroxides at a lower Cr(VI) concentration.