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Phys Chem Chem Phys. 2017 Jul 19;19(28):18481-18486. doi: 10.1039/c7cp02814h.

Molecular studies of Cs adsorption sites in inorganic layered materials: the influence of solution concentration.

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Department of Environmental Sciences, Tokyo Gakugei University, Koganei, Tokyo 184-8501, Japan.


Radioactive Cs released into a soil environment migrates along with groundwater in a manner dependent on Cs concentration. Data on the variation of Cs adsorption as a function of solution concentration are an essential prerequisite to successful decontamination work in Fukushima. To aid the ongoing decontamination work, the adsorption of Cs in aqueous solution across a wide Cs+ molarity range is studied for the case of saponite clay as adsorbent, an inorganic layered material that is an abundant mineral in the soil environment. The local molecular structures, i.e. nanosheet surfaces, nanosheet edges, and oncoming hexagonal cavities, participating in Cs adsorption are qualitatively highlighted by means of a recently developed analytical method using data from a conventional elution test, 133Cs magic-angle-spinning nuclear magnetic resonance (MAS NMR), and the radiocesium interception potential (RIP) [K. Sato, et al., J. Phys. Chem. C, 2016, 120, 1270]. The concentrations of nanosheet edges amount to between 100 and 400 mmol kg-1, which are not substantially different from those of the nanosheet surfaces, generally regarded as the main decontamination sites. This unambiguously implies that the nanosheet edges should be targeted as the molecular sites for decontaminating radioactive Cs, in addition to the nanosheet surfaces.


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