Preparation and related properties of geopolymer solidified uranium tailings bodies with various fibers and fiber content

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2021 Nov 5. doi: 10.1007/s11356-021-17176-0. Online ahead of print.


Uranium tailing ponds are a potential major source of radioactive pollution. Solidification treatment can control the diffusion and migration of radioactive elements in uranium tailings to safeguard the surrounding ecological environment. A literature review and field investigation were conducted in this study prior to fabricating 11 solidified uranium tailing samples with different proportions of PVA fiber, basalt fiber, metakaolin, and fly ash, and the weight percentage of uranium tailings in the solidified body is 61.11%. The pore structure, volume resistivity, compressive strength, radon exhalation rate variations, and U(VI) leaching performance of the samples were analyzed. The pore size of the solidified samples is mainly between 1 and 50 nm, the pore volume is between 2.461 and 5.852 × 10-2 cm3/g, the volume resistivity is between 1020.00 and 1937.33 Ω·m, and the compressive strength is between 20.61 and 36.91 MPa. The radon exhalation rate is between 0.0397 and 0.0853 Bq·m-2·s-1. The cumulative leaching fraction of U(VI) is between 2.095 and 2.869 × 10-2 cm, and the uranium immobilization rate is between 83.46 and 85.97%. Based on a comprehensive analysis of the physical and mechanical properties, radon exhalation rates, and U(VI) leaching performance of the solidified samples, the basalt fiber is found to outperform PVA fiber overall. The solidification effect is optimal when 0.6% basalt fiber is added.

PMID:34741268 | DOI:10.1007/s11356-021-17176-0

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