The adsorption and desorption of cesium onto layered minerals, zeolite and geochemical reference samples were studied. 0.5 g of bentonite and mica were able to adsorb 71.2 and 51.5 mg of cesium, respectively, from 50 mL of deionized water containing 200 mg/L of cesium under neutral pH condition. These amounts of cesium adsorption were greater than those reported for vermiculites (8.9 and 5.6 mg, respectively). Additionally, the cesium adsorption on mica and vermiculite remained essentially unchanged under seawater conditions, but it decreased drastically on zeolite. The cesium desorption from the layered minerals was promoted by the addition of ammonium ions, namely trioctylmethylammonium chloride and zephiramine. These ammonium ions desorb cesium from the interlayers of the minerals without destroying the mineral structure. The cesium desorption procedure using quaternary ammonium ions would be extremely useful for decontamination of soil containing the layered minerals with adsorbed radioactive cesium.

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