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(2020) Assessing Molecular-Level Compositional Heterogeneity of Natural Organic Matter in Bentonites

Usman MO & Simpson MJ


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08b: Room 3, Monday 22nd June 22:27 - 22:30

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Submitted by Ruth Tinnacher on Monday 22nd June 15:15
For the potential mobility of radionuclide-organic matter complexes, the molecular size of organic ligands will be important, e.g. if it limits the access of these complexes to montmorillonite interlayer spaces. Do you have any data on how the size distribution of organic molecules compares between your bentonite samples?
Although we do not have data on the size distribution of organic molecules, the cation exchange capacity values (a proxy for the available surface area for OM sorption) are comparable between the bentonite samples suggesting possible similarities in their OM binding capacity. Having said this, binding mechanisms depends on a myriad of factors including not only the mineralogical properties but also the characteristics of the OM itself. We did not explore this fully as it was beyond the scope of the study. I hope this answers your question.

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