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Geochemical, geotechnical and microbiological changes in mg/ca bentonite after thermal loading at 150 °C

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    0545541 - ÚACH 2022 RIV CH eng J - Journal Article
    Kašpar, V. - Šachlová, Š. - Hofmanová, E. - Komárková, Bára - Havlová, V. - Aparicio, C. - Černá, K. - Bartak, D. - Hlaváčková, V.
    Geochemical, geotechnical and microbiological changes in mg/ca bentonite after thermal loading at 150 °C.
    Minerals. Roč. 11, č. 9 (2021), č. článku 965. E-ISSN 2075-163X
    Institutional support: RVO:61388980
    Keywords : Cation exchange capacity * Magnesium bentonite * Microbial survivability * Montmorillonite content * Radioactive waste disposal * Saturated hydraulic conductivity * Water retention curves
    OECD category: Inorganic and nuclear chemistry
    Impact factor: 2.818, year: 2021
    Method of publishing: Open access

    Bentonite buffers at temperatures beyond 100 °C could reduce the amount of high-level radioactive waste in a deep geological repository. However, it is necessary to demonstrate that the buffer surrounding the canisters withstands such elevated temperatures, while maintaining its safety functions (regarding long-term performance). For this reason, an experiment with thermal loading of bentonite powder at 150 °C was arranged. The paper presents changes that the Czech Mg/Ca bentonite underwent during heating for one year. These changes were examined by X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermal analysis with evolved gas analysis (TA-EGA), aqueous leachates, Cs sorption, cation exchange capacity (CEC), specific surface area (SSA), free swelling, saturated hydraulic conductivity, water retention curves (WRC), quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), and next-generation sequencing (NGS). It was concluded that montmorillonite was partially altered, in terms of the magnitude of the surface charge density of montmorillonite particles, based on the measurement interpretations of CEC, SSA, and Cs sorption. Montmorillonite alteration towards low-or non-swelling clay structures corresponded well to significantly lower swelling ability and water uptake ability, and higher saturated hydraulic conductivity of thermally loaded samples. Microbial survivability decreased with the thermal loading time, but it was not completely diminished, even in samples heated for one year.
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