Permeable membranes containing crystalline silicotitanate as model barriers for cesium ion

Andrew M. Warta, Bill Arnold, Edward L Cussler Jr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In diaphragm cell experiments, a permeable model reactive barrier for the containment of cesium is tested. Primary targets for cesium containment are former plutonium processing sites (e.g., Hanford, WA and Savannah River, SC), which are currently contaminated with cesium-137. Adding up to 10 wt % crystalline silicotitanate, a sacrificial reagent, to poly(vinyl alcohol) films increases the time before cesium can cross the film by a factor of 30. The increased lag times are consistent with theories developed for this type of reactive membrane. Theory also correctly predicts the effects of cesium concentration and membrane thickness on membrane performance. Because the relative improvements of the model barrier are expected to be independent of the polymer used, these increased lags should hold for less permeable polymers that are more resistant to radiation, although these polymers have not been tested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9738-9743
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 15 2005


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