Within the management of radioactive waste, we sought to consider a new approach radioactive hazardous waste processing in aqueous or similar (low-level waste; LLW) forms LLW and in fact, ‘contaminants of concern’ is often stored as diluted aqueous solutions of radioactive (or non) elements and contained in storage containers. One of the general problems associated with mixed liquid waste is the lack of an efficient, effective, and inexpensive means of processing (separating) its constituents. Two of the objectives in processing solid, radioactive laden liquid LLW are as follows: 1) to separate/extract the radioisotopes from the rest of the mixed constituents, and 2) to produce stable solidified forms encapsulating radioactive elements. Recent R&D in the physical chemistry of gel materials, have identified promising approach to simultaneously achieve the above objectives. That is, by utilizing and manipulating the physicochemical properties of various silica- and polymer-based gels at the nanoscale, we have demonstrated a process by which to specific chemical species are encapsulated.

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