Uptake of cesium (Cs +) by building materials in aqueous batch systems

Baolin Deng, Victor Medina, Candice Reed, Anthony Bednar, Chris Griggs, Katrina M. Dontsova, Catherine C. Nestler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Cesium-137 (C137) is a radioactive source that could be utilized in the construction of a radioactive dispersal device (RDD). The objective of this study was to examine the uptake of Cs+ by common structural materials in the presence of water by using batch experiments with nonradioactive cesium chloride (CsCl133) as a surrogate for the radionuclide. Uptake kinetics and adsorption isotherms of Cs+ were measured on a diverse set of building materials, as were the effects of pH on the sorption processes. The results showed that wood materials, metal filings, and organic building materials and supplies did not sorb significant amounts of Cs+, but red brick, concrete block, drop ceiling panels, and clay materials retained Cs+ strongly. Adsorption kinetics were fast, and sorption isotherms could be characterized as linear. The solution pH did not have a significant effect on Cs+ sorption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)990-995
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Environmental Engineering
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • Building materials
  • Cesium
  • Dirty bomb
  • Sorption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Environmental Science


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