The chemistry of the interactions of transuranic elements (TUs) with humic substances needs to be understood so that humate-mediated movement of transuranic radionuclides through the environment can be predicted. This paper reports the chemical immobilization on silica gel of humic and fulvic acids and evaluates the potential of these new materials for the retention of Pu and Am. In addition to the preparation of the foregoing immobilized humic substances, other low molecular weight metal-binding ligands have also been immobilized on silica gel to investigate the binding sites for transuranic elements (TUs) in humic substances. The X-ray photoelectron spectra (XPS) of The(IV) complexed by humic acid and the immobilized humic acid are similar thus it appears that immobilization of humic acid does not generate any configurational changes in the Th(IV)-binding sites of the macromolecule. A variety of chelating agents partly mobilize these TUs sorbed on the solid phases. A batch method was used to determine the distribution coefficients (R(d)) for the uptake of Pu and Am by these prepared solid phases are, in some cases, of a similar order of magnitude as those determined for soil and particles suspended in terrestrial surface waters.
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Acknowledgements--Tahwea rdof a researchfe llowshipb y the InternationaAl tomic Energy Agency to Gyula Szab6 is acknowledgeTdh. is work was supporteidn part by the research grant BI6-6-048-UK from the Commissiono f the European CommunityT. he assistancoef Gary Haladaa nd Dongill Kim, both of the StateU niversityo f New York at Stony Brook, in acquiringp hotoelectrospne ctrais acknowledged.