Project Title

Using Ion Competition to Evaluate the Collapse of Vermiculite Interlayers

Presenters

Academic department under which the project should be listed

CSM - Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology

Faculty Sponsor Name

Daniel Ferreira

Abstract (300 words maximum)

The collapse of clay interlayers is an important discussion in soil science. Due to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant meltdown clay soils in the surrounding area are contaminated with 137Cs. 137Cs is said to be irreversibly trapped inside vermiculite interlayers (Sawhney, 1964). This research intends to show at what time interval vermiculite interlayers, if ever, become collapsed where they can no longer interact with other cations. These findings would support the idea that 137Cs is irreversibly bound to clay interlayers, therefore it cannot be removed through traditional remediation techniques. The interlayer collapse will be measured as a function of ion exchange competition between K+ and Cs+. In theory, vermiculite interlayers should decrease in size as exposure time increases.

Project Type

Poster

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Using Ion Competition to Evaluate the Collapse of Vermiculite Interlayers

The collapse of clay interlayers is an important discussion in soil science. Due to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant meltdown clay soils in the surrounding area are contaminated with 137Cs. 137Cs is said to be irreversibly trapped inside vermiculite interlayers (Sawhney, 1964). This research intends to show at what time interval vermiculite interlayers, if ever, become collapsed where they can no longer interact with other cations. These findings would support the idea that 137Cs is irreversibly bound to clay interlayers, therefore it cannot be removed through traditional remediation techniques. The interlayer collapse will be measured as a function of ion exchange competition between K+ and Cs+. In theory, vermiculite interlayers should decrease in size as exposure time increases.