Treatment of radioactive liquid waste by sorption on natural zeolite in Turkey

J Hazard Mater. 2006 Sep 1;137(1):332-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2006.02.013. Epub 2006 Mar 6.


Liquid radioactive waste has been generated from the use of radioactive materials in industrial applications, research and medicine in Turkey. Natural zeolites (clinoptilolite) have been studied for the removal of several key radionuclides ((137)Cs, (60)Co, (90)Sr and (110m)Ag) from liquid radioactive waste. The aim of the present study is to investigate effectiveness of zeolite treatment on decontamination factor (DF) in a combined process (chemical precipitation and adsorption) at the laboratory tests and scale up to the waste treatment plant. In this study, sorption and precipitation techniques were adapted to decontamination of liquid low level waste (LLW). Effective decontamination was achieved when sorbents are used during the chemical precipitation. Natural zeolite samples were taken from different zeolite formations in Turkey. Comparison of the ion-exchange properties of zeolite minerals from different formations shows that Gordes clinoptilolite was the most suitable natural sorbent for radionuclides under dynamic treatment conditions and as an additive for chemical precipitation process. Clinoptilolite were shown to have a high selectivity for (137)Cs and (110m)Ag as sorbent. In the absence of potassium ions, native clinoptilolite removed (60)Co and (90)Sr very effectively from the liquid waste. In the end of this liquid waste treatment, decontamination factor was provided as 430 by using 0.5 mm clinoptilolite at 30 degrees C.

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption
  • Cesium Radioisotopes / analysis
  • Cobalt Radioisotopes / analysis
  • Decontamination
  • Industrial Waste
  • Ion Exchange
  • Radioactive Waste*
  • Radioisotopes / analysis
  • Silver / analysis
  • Strontium Radioisotopes / analysis
  • Turkey
  • Waste Disposal, Fluid / methods*
  • Water Purification / methods*
  • Zeolites / analysis
  • Zeolites / chemistry*


  • Cesium Radioisotopes
  • Cobalt Radioisotopes
  • Industrial Waste
  • Radioactive Waste
  • Radioisotopes
  • Strontium Radioisotopes
  • clinoptilolite
  • Zeolites
  • Silver