Geopolymerisation of gasified ion-exchange resins, mechanical properties and short-term leaching studies

Tapio Vehmas (Corresponding Author), Emmi Myllykyla, Matti Nieminen, Jaana Laatikainen-Luntama, Markku Leivo, Markus Olin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle in a proceedings journalScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


A combination of gasification of low and intermediate level radioactive waste (LILW) and conditioning of the resulting product within a geopolymer matrix is a potential alternative for vitrification technologies as an immobilisation method. Geopolymer matrices have demonstrated good retention capability for radionuclides in many studies and the technology has been implemented at an industrial scale in Slovakia and Czech Republic. However, the practical waste loading has been limited by the mechanical properties of the encapsulated matrix. Even a small amount of ion exchange resin (IXR) decreases the strength of the matrix and cohesion of the matrix is lost when the fraction of resin exceeds 15-20%. In this study, the potential to combine gasification as thermal treatment and various inorganic binders as encapsulation matrices was evaluated. After gasification, the mechanical properties were not similarly sensitive to the encapsulation of IXR. Gasification enabled substantially higher loading of IXR into the sample. Also, gasification of the IXR decreased matrix apparent Caesium diffusion. Very low apparent diffusion coefficients of Cs were calculated when gasified resin was encapsulated in metakaolin matrix. Theoretically, the amount of Cs within the same volume of encapsulated material could be increased by 800 times following gasification and encapsulation within an alkali-activated metakaolin (MK) binder.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012017
Number of pages9
JournalIOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventThermal Treatment for Radioactive Waste Minimisation and Hazard Reduction 2020 Conference, THERAMIN 2020 - Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 Feb 20205 Feb 2020


This project has received funding from the Euratom research and training programme 2014-2018 under grant agreement No 755480.


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