Migration behavior of potassium and rubidium in compacted bentonite under reducing condition with iron corrosion product

Kazuya Idemitsu, Hirotomo Ikeuchi, Daisuke Akiyama, Yaohiro Inagaki, Tatsumi Arima

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Carbon steel overpack will corrode by consuming oxygen introduced by repository construction after closure of repository and then will keep the reducing environment in the vicinity of repository. The iron corrosion products can migrate in bentonite as ferrous ion through the interlayer of montmorillonite replacing exchangeable sodium ions in the interlayer. This replacement of sodium with ferrous ion may affect the migration behavior in the altered bentonite not only for redox-sensitive elements but also the other ions. Therefore the authors have carried out electromigration experiments of potassium or rubidium with source of iron ions supplied by anode corrosion of iron coupon in compacted bentonite. Five to fifteen micro liter of tracer solution containing 3.3 M of KCl or 2.2 M of RbCl was spiked on the interface between an iron coupon and bentonite, which dry density was around 1.4 Mg/m 3, before assembling. The iron coupon was connected as the working electrode to the potentiostat and was held at a constant supplied potential between - 600 and 300 mV vs. Ag/AgCl reference electrode for up to 8 days. Potassium could migrate faster and deeper in bentonite specimen than iron in each condition. On the other hand rubidium could migrate slower than iron. Migration velocity was a function of applied electrical potential and 8 to 14 nm/s for potassium, 5 to 10 nm/s for iron and 3 to 5 for rubidium, respectively. Dispersion coefficient was also a function of applied potential and 10 to 14 × 10-12 m2/s for potassium, 4 to 8 × 10 -12 m2/s for rubidium and 2 to 4 × 10-12 m2/s for iron, respectively. Diffusion experiments were also carried out for comparison. Potassium and rubidium might migrate slightly slower in the altered bentonite by iron corrosion than in ordinary compacted bentonite.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationScientific Basis for Nuclear Waste Management XXXIII
PublisherMaterials Research Society
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781605111667
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Event32nd Symposium on Scientific Basis for Nuclear Waste Management - St. Petersburg, Russian Federation
Duration: May 24 2009May 29 2009

Publication series

NameMaterials Research Society Symposium Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0272-9172


Other32nd Symposium on Scientific Basis for Nuclear Waste Management
Country/TerritoryRussian Federation
CitySt. Petersburg

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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