Date of Award

Fall 12-14-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)



First Advisor

W. Crawford Elliott

Second Advisor

J. Marion Wampler

Third Advisor

Brian A. Powell


This study examined the propensity for a weathered muscovite-rich test material to sorb 137Cs in a dilute NaCl solution (1 mmol/L, pH 5) across a range of added stable Cs and Rb concentrations for 130 days at room temperature. This muscovite test material, slaked from processed kaolin ore, was composed of 76% muscovite, 21% kaolinite and 3% quartz. Sorption experiments in the absence of stable Cs and Rb yielded increasing Kd values (1.49 x 103 mL/g to 1.18 x 104 mL/g) over 130 days for 137Cs sorbed onto muscovite. Sorption experiments with stable Cs and Rb displayed linear decreases in Kd values as functions of the concentrations of stable Cs and Rb. These findings are consistent with a Freundlich isotherm. After 130 days, the addition of NaCl (1 mM and 10 mM) caused the desorption of only a small fraction (0.011% - 1.476%) of the sorbed 137Cs from this muscovite test material. The Kd values calculated after the desorption of 137Cs were still generally large 6.93 x 103 mL/g to 1.40 x 106 mL/g. 137Cs was interpreted to be fixed at high affinity sites within the muscovite. This test material showed promise for being a sorbent for radiocesium contaminated waste solutions.