The use of (micro)-X-ray absorption spectroscopy in cement research.

Laboratory for Waste Management, Paul Scherrer Institute, CH-5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland.
Waste Management (Impact Factor: 3.16). 02/2006; 26(7):699-705. DOI: 10.1016/j.wasman.2006.01.032
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Long-term predictions on the mobility and the fate of radionuclides and contaminants in cementitious waste repositories require a molecular-level understanding of the geochemical immobilization processes involved. In this study, the use of X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) for chemical speciation of trace elements in cementitious materials will be outlined presenting two examples relevant for nuclear waste management. The first example addresses the use of XAS on powdered cementitious materials to determine the local coordination environment of Sn(IV) bound to calcium silicate hydrates (C-S-H). Sn K-edge XAS data of Sn(IV) doped C-S-H can be rationalized by corner sharing binding of Sn octahedra to Si tetrahedra of the C-S-H structure. XAS was further applied to determine the binding mechanism of Sn(IV) in the complex cement matrix. The second example illustrates the potential of emerging synchrotron-based X-ray micro-probe techniques for elucidating the spatial distribution and the speciation of contaminants in highly heterogeneous cementitious materials at the micro-scale. Micro X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and micro-XAS investigations were carried out on Co(II) doped hardened cement paste. These preliminary investigations reveal a highly heterogeneous spatial Co distribution. The presence of a Co(II)-hydroxide-like phase Co(OH)2 and/or Co-Al layered double hydroxide (Co-Al LDH) or Co-phyllosilicate was observed. Surprisingly, some of the initial Co(II) was partially oxidized and incorporated into a Co(III)O(OH)-like phase or a Co-phyllomanganate.

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