September 25, 2021
Journal Article

Simultaneous immobilization of aqueous co-contaminants using a bismuth layered material


The remediation of co-located contaminants in the vadose zone can be challenging due to accessibility and different responses of different contaminants to remedial actions. At the Hanford Site (WA, USA), multiple contaminants are present in the vadose zone and groundwater, including I, Tc, U, Cr, and NO3. We used a bismuth layered oxide in a series of batch experiments to test aqueous removal of multiple contaminants, including Tc, Cr, and U, as well as potentially competing anions, including NO3 and I. The results demonstrated successful removal of all four contaminants (>98% removal from the aqueous phase after 30 days) when tested individually. When contaminants were combined, a slight decrease in Tc removal occurred (-6%). The addition of sediment decreased the removal for Tc and I, but U and Cr removal was unaffected. Competition with anions released from the sediment likely caused the decreased removal of Tc and I and indicated that bismuth is less selective for these two contaminants. The results of these batch tests demonstrated that the bismuth based oxy-hydroxide material is a promising material for sequestering multiple contaminants in situ.

Published: September 25, 2021


Lawter A.R., T.G. Levitskaia, O. Qafoku, M.E. Bowden, F. Cintron Colon, and N. Qafoku. 2021. Simultaneous immobilization of aqueous co-contaminants using a bismuth layered material. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 237. PNNL-SA-147691. doi:10.1016/j.jenvrad.2021.106711