Final Report: Mobility and Transport of Radium from Sediment and Waste Pits.

EPA Grant Number: R825513C005
Subproject: this is subproject number 005 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R825513
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: HSRC (1989) - South and Southwest HSRC
Center Director: Reible, Danny D.
Title: Mobility and Transport of Radium from Sediment and Waste Pits.
Investigators: DeLaune, Ronald D , Pardue, J. , Patrick, William H. , Lindau, C.
Institution: Louisiana State University - Baton Rouge
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: January 1, 1992 through January 1, 1994
Project Amount: Refer to main center abstract for funding details.
RFA: Hazardous Substance Research Centers - HSRC (1989) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Substance Research Centers , Land and Waste Management


The objectives of the research was to determine the factors controlling the transport and movement of radium in the sediment environment, focusing specifically on the geochemistry of radium in coastal sediments and waste pits contaminated during oil production operations. The main focus of the study was to determine the effect of sediment redox/pH conditions on radium geochemistry, attenuation and movement. Processes of interest include precipitation and complexation.

Summary/Accomplishments (Outputs/Outcomes):

Experiments were conducted to determine the factors affecting the solubility and mobility of 226Ra in sediments contaminated by produced water discharges. Bottom sediments and waste pit material with high 226Ra activities were collected and incubated in microcosms under controlled conditions. Additional experiments were conducted to determine 226Ra flux from these sediments.

Results indicate that 226Ra solubility is controlled by co-precipitation of radium within sulfate minerals (e.g. barite and gypsum). Very little radium is in available or potentially available forms. Fluxes of radium from waste pit material are very low (of the same order of magnitude as natural "uncontaminated" systems). In biologically-active, contaminated bottom sediments, conversion of sulfate to sulfide results in the dissolution of some barite releasing small amounts of radium to other available forms. Fluxes of radium from these bottom sediments were up to an order-of-magnitude greater than in waste pits and natural, uncontaminated systems.

Key results include: 1) selective extractions of sediment and waste material indicated that very low activities of radium are present in "available" or "potentially available" forms. Nearly all of the radium activity (>>95%) can only be extracted using strong acids; 2) the modified MINTEQ geochemical speciation model indicated that sediment and waste pit porewater is unsaturated with respect to pure radium materials but supersaturated with respect to other sulfate minerals such as barite (BaSO4) and gypsum (CaSO4 2H2O). Radium can precipitate within these minerals. 3) calculations indicate that radium activities present in these sediments can easily be accounted for by co-precipitation in small amounts of these sulfate minerals; 4) in the biologically-active bottom sediments under anaerobic conditions, conversion of sulfite to sulfide results in the dissolution of some barite, redistributing small amounts of radium (approximately 5% of the total activity) to available and potentially available forms. 5) little or no additional effect was determined for Eh-pH on radium solubility, despite very low pH's (2.8-4.0) when waste pit and sediment were oxidized; and 6) despite the high activities present in the waste pit material, fluxes of 226Ra were of the order of magnitude as in natural "uncontaminated" systems. Fluxes from the bottom sediment were an order of magnitude higher.

Summary of Results
11. Analysis of waste pit materials indicates that "availability" of radium is generally low
12. Radium activities are consistent with co-precipitation with barite and gypsum
13. Anaerobic conditions in the waste-pit can result in mobilization of ~5% of radium
14. Radium availability does not depend upon Eh-pH in the waste pits and sediments analyzed.

Journal Articles on this Report : 1 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other subproject views: All 3 publications 2 publications in selected types All 1 journal articles
Other center views: All 392 publications 154 publications in selected types All 106 journal articles
Type Citation Sub Project Document Sources
Journal Article Pardue JH, Guo TZ. Biogeochemistry of Ra-226 in contaminated bottom sediments and oilfield waste pits. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 1998;39(3):239-253. R825513C005 (Final)
not available

Supplemental Keywords:

geochemistry, fate and transport, and solubility., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Waste, Water, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Chemical Engineering, Contaminated Sediments, Environmental Chemistry, Fate & Transport, Analytical Chemistry, Hazardous Waste, Ecology and Ecosystems, Hazardous, Environmental Engineering, environmental technology, sediment treatment, hazardous waste management, hazardous waste treatment, risk assessment, fate and transport, soil and groundwater remediation, radium, contaminated sediment, kinetics, chemical contaminants, contaminated soil, marine sediments, remediation, chemical kinetics, hydrology, technology transfer, CERCLA, aquifer fate and treatment

Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract
  • 1992

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R825513    HSRC (1989) - South and Southwest HSRC

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R825513C001 Sediment Resuspension and Contaminant Transport in an Estuary.
    R825513C002 Contaminant Transport Across Cohesive Sediment Interfaces.
    R825513C003 Mobilization and Fate of Inorganic Contaminant due to Resuspension of Cohesive Sediment.
    R825513C004 Source Identification, Transformation, and Transport Processes of N-, O- and S- Containing Organic Chemicals in Wetland and Upland Sediments.
    R825513C005 Mobility and Transport of Radium from Sediment and Waste Pits.
    R825513C006 Anaerobic Biodegradation of 2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene and Other Nitroaromatic Compounds by Clostridium Acetobutylicum.
    R825513C007 Investigation on the Fate and Biotransformation of Hexachlorobutadiene and Chlorobenzenes in a Sediment-Water Estuarine System
    R825513C008 An Investigation of Chemical Transport from Contaminated Sediments through Porous Containment Structures
    R825513C009 Evaluation of Placement and Effectiveness of Sediment Caps
    R825513C010 Coupled Biological and Physicochemical Bed-Sediment Processes
    R825513C011 Pollutant Fluxes to Aquatic Systems via Coupled Biological and Physicochemical Bed-Sediment Processes
    R825513C012 Controls on Metals Partitioning in Contaminated Sediments
    R825513C013 Phytoremediation of TNT Contaminated Soil and Groundwaters
    R825513C014 Sediment-Based Remediation of Hazardous Substances at a Contaminated Military Base
    R825513C015 Effect of Natural Dynamic Changes on Pollutant-Sediment Interaction
    R825513C016 Desorption of Nonpolar Organic Pollutants from Historically Contaminated Sediments and Dredged Materials
    R825513C017 Modeling Air Emissions of Organic Compounds from Contaminated Sediments and Dredged Materials title change in last year to "Long-term Release of Pollutants from Contaminated Sediment Dredged Material"
    R825513C018 Development of an Integrated Optic Interferometer for In-Situ Monitoring of Volatile Hydrocarbons
    R825513C019 Bioremediation of Contaminated Sediments and Dredged Material
    R825513C020 Bioremediation of Sediments Contaminated with Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons
    R825513C021 Role of Particles in Mobilizing Hazardous Chemicals in Urban Runoff
    R825513C022 Particle Transport and Deposit Morphology at the Sediment/Water Interface
    R825513C023 Uptake of Metal Ions from Aqueous Solutions by Sediments
    R825513C024 Bioavailability of Desorption Resistant Hydrocarbons in Sediment-Water Systems.
    R825513C025 Interactive Roles of Microbial and Spartina Populations in Mercury Methylation Processes in Bioremediation of Contaminated Sediments in Salt-Marsh Systems
    R825513C026 Evaluation of Physical-Chemical Methods for Rapid Assessment of the Bioavailability of Moderately Polar Compounds in Sediments
    R825513C027 Freshwater Bioturbators in Riverine Sediments as Enhancers of Contaminant Release
    R825513C028 Characterization of Laguna Madre Contaminated Sediments.
    R825513C029 The Role of Competitive Adsorption of Suspended Sediments in Determining Partitioning and Colloidal Stability.
    R825513C030 Remediation of TNT-Contaminated Soil by Cyanobacterial Mat.
    R825513C031 Experimental and Detailed Mathematical Modeling of Diffusion of Contaminants in Fluids
    R825513C033 Application of Biotechnology in Bioremediation of Contaminated Sediments
    R825513C034 Characterization of PAH's Degrading Bacteria in Coastal Sediments
    R825513C035 Dynamic Aspects of Metal Speciation in the Miami River Sediments in Relation to Particle Size Distribution of Chemical Heterogeneity