Well-characterized samples of rhyolitic obsidian, perlite and felsite from a single lava flow are leached of U by alkaline oxidizing solutions under open-system conditions. Pressure, temperature, flow rate and solution composition are held constant in order to evaluate the relative importance of differences in surface area and crystallinity. Under the experimental conditions U removal from crushed glassy samples proceeds by a mechanism of glass dissolution in which U and silica are dissolved in approximately equal weight fractions. The rate of U removal from crushed glassy samples increases with decreasing average grain size (surface area). Initial rapid loss of a small component (??? 2.5%) of the total U from crushed felsite. followed by much slower U loss, reflects variable rates of attack of numerous uranium sites. The fractions of U removed during the experiment ranged from 3.2% (felsite) to 27% (perlite). An empirical method for evaluating the relative rate of U loss from contemporaneous volcanic rocks is presented which incorporates leaching results and rock permeability data. ?? 1979.
Additional Publication Details
Uranium mobility during interaction of rhyolitic obsidian, perlite and felsite with alkaline carbonate solution: T = 120?? C, P = 210 kg/cm2