Coal fly ash as a potential fixation reagent for radioactive wastes

Roy Nir Lieberman, Uri Green, Giora Segev, Mehmet Polat, Yitzhak Mastai, Haim Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Israel produces ∼1.3 Mt/year of fly ash (FA), a byproduct of its coal-fired power plants. Due to increasing environmental regulations, these imported coals are processed to reduce the sulfur concentration (∼0.6%). These processing methods result in a material that has an enriched alkali/alkali earth component with pozzolanic and basic properties (pH > 10.5). FAs are utilized worldwide, mainly as a cement additive for the construction industry. Recently, it was demonstrated that Class F FA can act as an excellent fixation reagent for acidic wastes from the phosphate or the oil regeneration industries. In the current work the potential utilization of Class F FAs as fixation reagents for low-activity radioactive waste from the nuclear industry was examined. Aqueous solutions containing radionuclide simulants: cesium (Cs+), strontium, (Sr2+), and cerium (Ce3+, Ce4+) were used as case studies with promising results. It is suggested that the primary fixation mechanism involves the aluminate/silicate anions at the FA surface. A novel experimental fixation approach utilizing the formation of carbonates is demonstrated and a new interaction mechanism is suggested based on the electrostatic interactions of the positively charged fine precipitates with the negatively charged FA surface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-444
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


The authors thank the Israel Coal Ash Administration for funding the research and the Ariel University for the workspace. Dr. Hanan Teller provided significant support in maintaining the facilities and Ms. Natali Litbek the SEM analysis.

FundersFunder number
Israel Coal Ash Administration
Ariel University


    • Carbonate
    • Fixation
    • Fly ash
    • Radioactive
    • Waste


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