Articles | Volume 7, issue 4
Research article
18 Aug 2016
Research article |  | 18 Aug 2016

Quantitative experimental monitoring of molecular diffusion in clay with positron emission tomography

Johannes Kulenkampff, Abdelhamid Zakhnini, Marion Gründig, and Johanna Lippmann-Pipke

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Cited articles

Hemes, S., Desbois, G., Urai, J. L., Schröppel, B., and Schwarz, J.-O.: Multi-scale characterization of porosity in Boom Clay (HADES-level, Mol, Belgium) using a combination of X-ray μ-CT, 2D BIB-SEM and FIB-SEM tomography, Micropor. Mesopor. Mat., 208, 1–20, 2015.
Keller, L. M., Holzer, L., Wepf, R., and Gasser, P.: 3D geometry and topology of pore pathways in Opalinus clay: Implications for mass transport, Appl. Clay Sci., 52, 85–95, 2011.
Kulenkampff, J., Gründig, M., Schikora, J., Zakhnini, A., and Lippmann-Pipke, J.: Long-term spatiotemporal monitoring of diffusion processes in Opalinus drill cores with GeoPET and parameterization with Comsol Multiphysics, 5th International Meeting on Clays in Natural and Engineered Barriers for Radioactive Waste Confinement, Montpellier, France, 22–25 October 2012.
Kulenkampff, J., Gründig, M., Zakhnini, A., Gerasch, R., and Lippmann-Pipke, J.: Process tomography of diffusion, using PET, to evaluate anisotropy and heterogeneity, Clay Miner., 50, 369–375, 2015.
Short summary
Clay is the prominent barrier material in the geosphere, but diffusion of dissolved species is possible. Diffusion parameters are commonly determined on small samples, disregarding heterogeneity. With positron emission tomography (PET), we monitored heterogeneous transport patterns on larger samples. From the time dependence of the spatial tracer distribution, we derived reliable anisotropic diffusion coefficients, and found indications of preferential transport zones.