||Dow Chemical Co., Midland, MI. ;Houston Univ., TX. Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering. ;Stone and Webster Engineering Corp., Houston, TX.;Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, OH. Risk Reduction Engineering Lab.
The article focuses on the results of bench- and pilot-scale studies of ion exchange processes for radium removal from groundwater in Lemont, Ill. Batch and column studies indicated a very high resin selectivity for radium compared with common cations. Exhaustion-regeneration studies with a variety of resins showed that a standard gel-type strong-acid cation exchanger is most suitable for radium removal in cyclic operation. Because the ion exchange softening process, operating to hardness breakthrough (300-360 bed volumes (BV)), removes radium but does not fully utilize the resin capacity, cyclic runs were made with resins exhausted to radium breakthrough (2,500-3,000 BV) and regenerated with sodium and calcium salts. But because of poor radium regenerability of the exhausted resins, simultaneous breakthrough of radium and hardness occurred during the subsequent exhaustion run on the sodium cycle, and high radium leakage was observed on the calcium cycle. The sodium ion exchange softening process (operated to hardness breakthrough without regenerant reuse) continues to be an appropriate technology for the removal of radium.