Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study on element could change ballgame on radioactive waste

Date:
March 23, 2014
Source:
Florida State University
Summary:
Groundbreaking work by a team of chemists on a fringe element of the periodic table could change how the world stores radioactive waste and recycles fuel. The element is called californium -- Cf if you're looking at the Periodic Table of Elements -- and it's what researchers called "wicked stuff."

Groundbreaking work by a team of chemists on a fringe element of the periodic table could change how the world stores radioactive waste and recycles fuel.

Related Articles


The element is called californium -- Cf if you're looking at the Periodic Table of Elements -- and it's what Florida State Professor Thomas Albrecht-Schmitt, the lead researcher on the project, calls "wicked stuff."

In carefully choreographed experiments, Albrecht-Schmitt and his colleagues found that californium had amazing abilities to bond and separate other materials. They also found it was extremely resistant to radiation damage.

"It's almost like snake oil," he said. "It sounds almost too good to be true."

Albrecht-Schmitt said that the discoveries could help scientists build new storage containers for radioactive waste, plus help separate radioactive fuel, which means the fuel could be recycled.

"This has real world application," he said. "It's not purely an academic practice."

Albrecht-Schmitt's work, "Unusual Structure, Bonding, and Properties in a Californium Borate," appears published in the newest edition of Nature Chemistry.

But, running the experiments and collecting the data were not small tasks.

After years of working with the U.S. Department of Energy, Albrecht-Schmitt obtained 5 milligrams of californium costing $1.4 million, paid for through an endowment to the university in honor of retired professor Gregory Choppin.

But that tiny, expensive element has opened a whole new world of nuclear chemistry.

"We're changing how people look at californium and how it can be used," Albrecht-Schmitt said.

All of the experiments were conducted at Florida State, but Albrecht-Schmitt also worked with theorists and scientists from nine universities and institutes, including Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which supplied the californium.

David A. Dixon, professor of chemistry at the University of Alabama, and his graduate student, Ted Garner, provided the calculations and theory on why the californium could bond in such unique ways, while scientists at Argonne National Laboratory helped correlate the theory with the experiments. Evgeny Alekseev and Wulf Depmeier of Germany also provided an improved understanding on the atomic structure of californium.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Florida State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Matthew J. Polinski, Edward B. Garner, Rémi Maurice, Nora Planas, Jared T. Stritzinger, T. Gannon Parker, Justin N. Cross, Thomas D. Green, Evgeny V. Alekseev, Shelley M. Van Cleve, Wulf Depmeier, Laura Gagliardi, Michael Shatruk, Kenneth L. Knappenberger, Guokui Liu, S. Skanthakumar, Lynda Soderholm, David A. Dixon, Thomas E. Albrecht-Schmitt. Unusual structure, bonding and properties in a californium borate. Nature Chemistry, 2014; DOI: 10.1038/nchem.1896

Cite This Page:

Florida State University. "Study on element could change ballgame on radioactive waste." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140323151722.htm>.
Florida State University. (2014, March 23). Study on element could change ballgame on radioactive waste. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140323151722.htm
Florida State University. "Study on element could change ballgame on radioactive waste." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140323151722.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — The International Space Station is now using a proof-of-concept 3D printer to test additive printing in a weightless, isolated environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins