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    Disused Sealed Radioactive Sources (DSRS) borehole disposal is an innovative concept recommended by international atomic energy agency (IAEA) to improve the safety and security of the management end point for these sources. A green application of Palm Oil Fuel Ash (POFA) as a supplementary material for cementitious backfill barrier in DSRS borehole disposal facility is proposed. Samples with up to 50% POFA replacement complied with the mechanical and hydraulic performance requirements for backfill barriers in retrievable radioactive waste disposal facilities. The structures of one year old OPC and optimum OPC-POFA cement backfills were evaluated using FESEM, XRD, EDXRF, BET, and TGA and their 226 Ra confinement performances were assessed. 30% POFA replacement improved the geochemical conditions by reducing competitive Ca2+ release into the disposal environment. It enhanced 226Ra confinement performance independently on the amount of water intrusion or releases below 2% of 1 Ci source. The improved performance is attributed to the higher fraction of active sites of OPC-POFA backfill compared to that of OPC backfill. 226Ra sorption onto C-S-H is irreversible, spontaneous, endothermic, and independent on the degree of the surface filling. The provided experimental data and theoretical analysis proved the feasibility of this green use of POFA in reducing the radiological hazard of 226Ra. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


    E Phillip, K S Khoo, M A W Yusof, R O Abdel Rahman. Assessment of POFA -Cementitious material as backfill barrier in DSRS borehole disposal: 226Ra confinement. Journal of environmental management. 2021 Feb 15;280:111703

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    PMID: 33288318

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