Beryllium sorption to sandy soil at a legacy waste site

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Beryllium (Be) is utilized in various science and technology applications including aerospace, defence, electronics and nuclear energy (USGS, 2018). Beryllium and its compounds are highly toxic and considered carcinogenic to humans (IARC, 2001). In soil, Be is highly reactive, amphoteric, hydrates readily and reacts with different organic and inorganic elements due to its high charge to size ratio (Alderighi et al., 2000, Boschi and Willenbring, 2016, Rudolph et al., 2009, Edmunds, 2011). The sorption mechanism strongly depends on soil physicochemical properties like pH, cation exchange capacity (CEC), soil texture, soil organic matter (SOM) content, and the presence of sulphur, nitrogen, phosphorous, aluminium etc. (Sutton et al., 2012, Boschi and Willenbring, 2016). Of these, pH is a strong controller of Be sorption, with chemisorption increasing substantially from pH 4 to 6 with precipitation being the predominant mechanism between pH 6-12 (Boschi and Willenbring, 2016). This study examined the sorption of Be in surface soils of a legacy waste site that contains Be and low-level radioactive wastes disposed in shallow trenches to determine how Be may be retained in the surface soil if it is mobilised from the wastes. The sorption of Be with respect to physiochemical properties and the applicability of the Langmuir, Freundlich and Temkin sorption models was examined
Beryllium, Carcinogens, Chemical properties, Radioactive wastes, Soils, Sorption, Waste management, Waste disposal site
Islam, M. R., Sanderson, P., Naidu, R., Johansen, M. P. & Payne, T. E. (2019). Beryllium sorption to sandy soil at a legacy waste site. Paper presented to the 8th International Contaminated Site Remediation Conference, Incorporating the 2nd International PFAS Conference, "Cleanup 2019", Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, South Australia, 8-12 September 2019. (pp. 457-458).