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Influence of Muscovite (001) Surface Nanotopography on Radionuclide Adsorption Studied by Kinetic Monte Carlo Simulations

Schabernack, J.; Kurganskaya, I.; Fischer, C.; Luttge, A.

Mechanistic understanding and prediction of solute adsorption from fluids onto mineral surfaces is relevant for many natural and technical processes. Mineral surfaces in natural systems are often exposed to fluids at non-equilibrium conditions resulting in surface dissolution reactions. Such reactions cause the formation of surface nanotopography and, consequently, the exposure of different types of surface atoms. The quantitative effect of nanotopography on the efficiency of adsorption reactions at crystal surfaces is not known. Using kinetic Monte Carlo simulations, we combine a model of muscovite (001) face dissolution with a consequent model of europium adsorption on the rough mineral surface. The model considers three different adsorption sites based on the muscovite surface cations: silicon, tetrahedral and octahedral aluminum. Two different surface nanotopography configurations are investigated, both showing similar adsorption behavior. Octahedral aluminum surface atoms defined by having the highest reactivity towards adsorption are exposed solely on steps and pits on the muscovite (001) face. Thus, their availability directly depends on the surface nanotopography. The model results show the need for a more precise parameterization of surface site-specific adsorption, taking into account the coordination of the involved surface cation such as kink, step or terrace sites.

Keywords: kinetic Monte Carlo simulation; adsorption; dissolution; radionuclides; muscovite

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Publ.-Id: 32483