Radiation-modified natural zeolites for cleaning liquid nuclear waste (irradiation against radioactivity)

Sci Rep. 2013 Oct 9;3:2900. doi: 10.1038/srep02900.

Abstract

There have been comparatively few investigations reported of radiation effects in zeolites, although it is known that these materials may be modified substantially by exposure to ionizing radiation. Thus, by exposure to γ-rays or high-energy particles, the charge states of atoms may be changed so to create, and accumulate, lattice point defects, and to form structurally disordered regions. Such a technique may permit the creation, in a controlled fashion, of additionally useful properties of the material while preserving its essential stoichiometry and structure. Accordingly, we present an application, in which the cation-exchange capacity of a natural zeolite (clinoptilolite) is substantially enhanced, for the treatment/decontamination of water contaminated with radionuclides e.g. (134)Cs, (137)Cs and (90)Sr, by its exposure to high-energy (8 MeV) electrons, and to different total doses.