Volume 110 (2015) Issue 3 Pages 126-134
The sorption characteristics of cesium (Cs) ions into weathered biotite with biotite–vermiculite interstratification collected from weathered granodiorite in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan has been investigated. Both single crystals and crushed powder forms of the weathered biotite were experimentally reacted with 20–2000 ppm CsCl aqueous solutions, and analyzed by powder X–ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) to examine the distribution of Cs inside the crystals. From the XRD pattern, the proportion of vermiculite unit layers in the weathered biotite was estimated at ~ 12%, with a tendency for segregation, and the whole XRD pattern was explained by the coexistence of biotite and vermiculite packets as well as the interstratified regions. Powder XRD of Cs–sorbed specimens showed that the 14.9 Å peak of the vermiculite packets was weakened at a low Cs concentration in the solution. Single crystals of the weathered biotite with a polished edge–surface were immersed in the CsCl solutions and examined using SEM and high–angular annular dark field (HAADF) imaging in STEM. Cs was not only incorporated in the vicinity of the exposed surface but also penetrated deeply inside the crystals. These analyses and observations revealed the Cs–sorption process in weathered biotite. At first, Cs preferentially replaced specific vermiculite interlayers in the vermiculite packets. With a higher Cs concentration in the solution, the Cs–substituted vermiculite interlayers increased in the vermiculite packets, and vermiculite layers interstratified in biotite also incorporated Cs.