Abstract: The sorption of U and Ra on finely ground biotite, muscovite, and phlogopite was adequately described by the Freundlich adsorption equation, (x/m) = KCn, at low U and Ra concentrations despite Ra precipitation at the higher temperature. Radium and U sorption-efficiency curves derived from the Freundlich constants generally showed decreased distribution coefficients in response to increasing temperature and increasing Ra or U concentrations. Temperatures investigated were 5°C, 25°C, and 65°C. Solution compositions used were 0.1 M NaCl and 0.01 M NaHCO3 for U, and 0.01 M NaCl for Ra. Uranium initial solution concentrations ranged from 1.00 × 10−4 M to 4.00 × 10−7 M; the Ra initial solution concentration range was 6.80 × 10−7 M to 8.60 × 10−9 M.
In 0.01 M NaHCO3 solutions, anionic uranyl carbonate complexes were prevalent, and because they are weakly sorbed relative to free uranyl ion and uranyl hydroxy complexes, the result was a relatively low U sorption efficiency on biotite and phlogopite and excellent sorption efficiency on muscovite. Uranyl carbonate complexes decreased in solubility with increasing temperature, so that U sorption efficiency on biotite increased with increasing temperature. Sorption of uranyl ion and uranyl hydroxy cations on biotite decreased with incresaing temperature.