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Radiochimica Acta

International Journal for chemical aspects of nuclear science and technology

Editor-in-Chief: Qaim, Syed M.

IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 1.202

CiteScore 2017: 1.22

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.409
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.869

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Volume 96, Issue 9-11


Measuring sorption coefficients and BET surface areas on intact drillcore and crushed granite samples

Magnus André / Ivars Neretnieks
  • 1 Royal Institute of Technology, Department of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Stockholm, Schweden
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/ M. E. Malmström
Published Online: 2009-09-25 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1524/ract.2008.1552


In general sorption coefficients, Kd, cat ion exchange capacity, CEC, and BET surface areas are measured on crushed rock samples because it is very time consuming to measure Kd and CEC on larger rock pieces as it takes a long time for the sorbing species to penetrate into and equilibrate a large sample. Also conventional sample holders for BET measurements are too small to hold a large sample.

We have manufactured large sample holders for BET measurements and modified the equipment so that it is possible to measure BET surface areas on samples with 50 mm diameter and up to 100 mm length. Results are presented for intact pieces and compared to results on crushed material from the same drillcore.

For Kd and CEC measurements we have developed a technique and equipment by which ions can be made to rapidly intrude into and equilibrate the internal surfaces of the same size samples as mentioned above. The method is based on electro-migration where the sample is placed between two vessels one with an anode and other with a cathode. The electric potential gradient drives the ions into and through the sample very much faster than molecular diffusion does. With Cs as the sorbing ion a few weeks were sufficient to equilibrate the 50 mm long sample. In previous diffusion experiments it took more than a year to equilibrate a 15 mm thick sample. A special mixing technique eliminates the development of low and high pH in the electrode compartments.

Kd results from measurements on an intact drillcore are presented and comparison is made with results obtained on crushed material from the same bore core. The results from the sorption experiments are compared with the results from the BET surface area determinations in an attempt to evaluate the use of the BET surface area as a proxy for sorption behaviour.

Keywords: Sorption; Electromigration; Crystalline rock; Granite; BET-surface area

About the article

* Correspondence address: Dept. Chemical Engineering and Technology, Royal Institute of Technology, S-10044 Stockholm, Schweden,

Published Online: 2009-09-25

Published in Print: 2008-11-01

Citation Information: Radiochimica Acta International journal for chemical aspects of nuclear science and technology, Volume 96, Issue 9-11, Pages 673–677, ISSN (Print) 0033-8230, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1524/ract.2008.1552.

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