A study of the Arrhenius behavior of the co-precipitation of radium, barium and strontium sulfate
Journal article, 2013
Co-precipitation of radium, barium and strontium is an important process in many contexts, such as uranium mining, oil extraction and in the safety assessment of a final repository for used nuclear fuel. Co-precipitation to a solid solution is possible since radium, barium and strontium act as chemical analogues. In this work the co-precipitation of radium, barium and strontium was studied and the kinetic behavior of the co-precipitation process was investigated. It was shown that radium, barium and strontium co-precipitate congruently and that the precipitation followed an Arrhenius behavior and the Arrhenius parameters for the systems was determined. When studying the differences of the Arrhenius constants by using a student t test (95 % confidence interval) it was observed that the only significant difference in the activation energy, E (a), is between radium and barium and between radium and strontium respectively, the pure strontium having the larger activation energy in comparison. This is most likely coupled to the metal ion size; since the hydration waters are more strongly bound, which leads to them having a slower exchange rate, which in turn effects the rate of co-precipitation to the metal these reactions will be slower.