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Volume 68, Issue 3


Physicochemical fractionation of americium, thorium, and uranium in Chernozem soil after sharp temperature change and soil drought

Petya Kovacheva
  • Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy, University of Sofia “St. Kliment Ohridski”, 1, J. Bourchier Blvd., Sofia, 1164, Bulgaria
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/ Svilen Mitsiev
  • Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy, University of Sofia “St. Kliment Ohridski”, 1, J. Bourchier Blvd., Sofia, 1164, Bulgaria
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/ Rumyana Djingova
  • Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy, University of Sofia “St. Kliment Ohridski”, 1, J. Bourchier Blvd., Sofia, 1164, Bulgaria
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Published Online: 2013-11-15 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11696-013-0457-y


A sequential extraction procedure was used to study the changes in the physicochemical forms of americium (Am), thorium (Th), and uranium (U) in laboratory-contaminated Chernozem soil as a result of sharp variations of the environmental temperature and soil moisture. The influence of freezing and soil drought on the radio-ecological hazard was evaluated three months after radioactive contamination with aqueous solutions of 241Am, 234Th, and U. The subsequent changes in the physicochemical forms of the actinides, caused by sharp increases in the environmental temperature and soil moisture, were examined for one month. The data showed that continuous freezing increased the potentially mobile forms of Am and Th but had the opposite effect on U. Prolonged soil drought did not influence the fractionation of Am and Th but led to the redistribution of U between the carbonates and organic matter and caused its immobilisation. The sharp increase in the temperature of the frozen soil caused the immobilisation of Am and Th and increased the potential mobility of U. The warming and enhanced humidity of the dry soil led to the immobilisation of Am and redistribution of U between the soil phases.

Keywords: americium; thorium; uranium; physicochemical forms; environmental temperature; soil drought

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About the article

Published Online: 2013-11-15

Published in Print: 2014-03-01

Citation Information: Chemical Papers, Volume 68, Issue 3, Pages 336–341, ISSN (Online) 1336-9075, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11696-013-0457-y.

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