The effects of calcium and magnesium on the distribution of strontium between a surficial sediment and simulated wastewater solutions were measured as part of an investigation to determine strontium transport properties of surficial sediment at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL), Idaho. The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey and Idaho State University, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy. Batch experimental techniques were used to determine strontium linear sorption isotherms and distribution coefficients (K(d)'s) using simulated wastewater solutions prepared at pH 8.0??0.1 with variable concentrations of calcium and magnesium. Strontium linear sorption isotherm K(d)'s ranged from 12??1 to 85??3 ml/g, increasing as the concentration of calcium and magnesium decreased. The concentration of sorbed strontium and the percentage of strontium retained by the sediment were correlated to aqueous concentrations of strontium, calcium, and magnesium. The effect of these cation concentrations on strontium sorption was quantified using multivariate least-squares regression techniques. Analysis of data from these experiments indicates that increased concentrations of calcium and magnesium in wastewater discharged to waste disposal ponds at the INEL increases the availability of strontium for transport beneath the ponds by decreasing strontium sorption to the surficial sediment.
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Effects of calcium and magnesium on strontium distribution coefficients