Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences

Committee Member

Dr. Timothy A. DeVol, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Brian A. Powell

Committee Member

Dr. Scott M. Husson


Hybrid extractive scintillating resins (HESR) were developed for uptake and detection of aqueous plutonium (Pu). These resins consist of titanium dioxide (TiO2), which is responsible for Pu uptake, embedded in the scintillating resin. The scintillating resin emits light when excited by alpha radiation from plutonium which can be detected with a photomultiplier tube (PMT). Two main approaches were used for preparing these resins; first, incorporating inorganic compounds after polymerization: post-polymerization methods (HESR-I) and second, incorporating inorganic compounds before polymerization: pre-polymerization method (HESR-II). The physical characterization of HESR was done using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX). Batch uptakes for aqueous plutonium-238 (+5 oxidation state) were performed. For a contact time of 1440 minutes, the highest fraction Pu sorbed was 0.71±0.10 with corresponding conditional KD of 1×103 mL g-1 for HESR-II, containing 57% of TiO2 by weight (HESR-II(57)), of the size 106-212 µm. The corresponding plutonium detection efficiency was 96%. Pseudo first-order rate model and pseudo second-order rate model were used for analyzing the kinetic data for sorption of Pu on HESR-II. Rate order was calculated as 1.5 with respect to plutonium concentration and overall rate constant was 2.4×109 mol-1 s-1 using pseudo second-order model. HESR-II(57) displays linear Pu detection response and a calculated minimum detectable concentration of Pu5+ is 0.38 Bq L-1 for batch cell setup. The hybrid extractive scintillating resins were developed for monitoring plutonium contamination in groundwater and surface water.



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