Evaluation of optimal size of illite adsorbent for 137Cs removal in contaminated artificial lake

Jong Gil Park, Weon Shik Han, Sungwook Choung, Jeonghwan Hwang, Youn Tae Kim, Tae Kwon Yun

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Since the Chernobyl and the Fukushima Daiichi disasters, contamination caused by radioactive accidents has attracted increasing attention. The present study evaluated immediate cleanup of 137Cs dissolved in surface water reservoir using an illite adsorbent, simulating an event of 137Cs contamination at Lake Paldang, South Korea. The study was conducted in two parts: (1) calculation of the residence time (tr) of illite adsorbent, and (2) evaluation of the adsorption time (ta) of illite adsorbent. tr was calculated based on physical properties (e.g., density, diameter, shape, and roughness) of the illite adsorbent at designated depth of surface water. Subsequently, ta was measured for 4 illite adsorbents (Korea01-Illite, Korea02-Illite, USA-Illite, and China-Illite) at 100 and 100,000 μg/L Cs, via kinetic adsorption experiment. Upon spraying of illite adsorbents with 50–150 μm diameter to locations where lake depth was between 6.5 m and 25.5 m, tr ranged from 0.132 to 3.300 h ta of 4 illite adsorbents was shorter than 0.6 and 2.5 h, for respective tests using 100 and 100,000 μg/L Cs. Based on the two characteristic times (tr and ta), the optimal particle diameter for the 4 illite adsorbents were evaluated at available lake depths in Lake Paldang. The study revealed that the USA-Illite is the efficient adsorbent at 100 μg/L Cs; in contrast, China-Illite could serve as the effective adsorbent at 100,000 μg/L Cs. Also, it was suggested that adsorbent efficiency had seasonal variations; tr was 2 h longer in winter than summer. In general, the study suggests that in the event of 137Cs contamination at Lake Paldang, Korea01-Illite is likely the best adsorbent to remove 137Cs due to its removal efficiency and accessibility from the illite deposit in Korea.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110739
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Sept 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (Information, Communication and Technology) (CAP-15-07-KICT). Additional support was provided by Korea Environment Industry & Technology Institute ( KEITI ) funded by the Korea Ministry of Environment (project 2018002440003 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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