Back from MARC…

Instead of watching the falling snow outside my window right now, I’d much rather remember last April when I got to spend a week on beautiful Hawaii participating in the MARC XI conference. It was great to see old friends again and meet new people. There was quite a large group of students there, too, making me realize that I’m finally not a “young scientist” anymore 😉

There were great sessions on many different topics and the discussions inbetween were also interesting and mostly fun. I was lucky in that I got to give a presentation on the Cs and Sr adsorption capabilities of Clinoptilolite [1] which I also submitted as a manuscript. Dorian Zok, a student of Georg Steinhauser, whom I count as a close friend of mine, also gave a great presentation on Ru-106 containing air-filters we measured at the Atominstitut [2].

So, even though I wish I could enjoy some Hawaiian sun (and coffee) right now, I’m content with the memories and those two nice publications that came out of the conference.

[1] [doi] J. H. Sterba, H. Sperrer, F. Wallenko, and J. M. Welch, “Adsorption characteristics of a clinoptilolite-rich zeolite compound for sr and cs,” Journal of radioanalytical and nuclear chemistry, vol. 318, p. 267, 2018.
author = {Sterba, Johannes H. and Sperrer, Hannes and Wallenko, Florian and Welch, Jan M.},
title = {Adsorption characteristics of a clinoptilolite-rich zeolite compound for Sr and Cs},
journal = {Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry},
year = {2018},
volume = {318},
issue = {1},
month = aug,
pages = {267},
issn = {1588-2780},
doi = {10.1007/s10967-018-6096-6},
url = {},
abstract = {The Sr and Cs adsorption capacities of LithoFill™, LithoGran™ and a competing clinoptilolite containing zeolite product were investigated by radioanalytical methods (85Sr and 134Cs gamma spectroscopy). The dependence of adsorption and adsorption rate on physical factors including temperature, available ions and time were assessed. In addition, the reversibility of adsorption under high ionic strength conditions was also examined. In general, cesium is more strongly adsorbed than strontium, adsorption yields are generally independent of temperature (from room temperature to 65 °C) and adsorption is relatively rapid (identical results for 2 or 5 day adsorption times). As expected, increasing the concentration of other ions in solution tends to reduce adsorption of cesium and strontium. In general, Cs adsorption ranges between 54.5 and 45.2 mg/g for LitoFill and LitoGran samples and between 36.9 and 24.4 mg/g for the competing product. For Sr adsorption, ranges are 30-21 mg/g and 7.3-6.7 mg/g respectively, leading to the conclusion that the higher content of clinoptilolite in the LitoFill/LitoGran samples results in better adsorption characteristics.},
file = {:Sterba2018b.pdf:PDF},
refid = {Sterba2018},
spezifikation = {leach, inhouse},
[2] D. Zok, J. H. Sterba, and G. Steinhauser, “Chemical and radioanalytical investigations of 106ru-containing air filters from vienna in fall 2017: searching for stable element anomalies,” Journal of radioanalytical and nuclear chemistry, 2018.
author = {Zok, Dorian and Sterba, Johannes H. and Steinhauser, Georg},
title = {Chemical and radioanalytical investigations of 106Ru-containing air filters from Vienna in fall 2017: searching for stable element anomalies},
journal = {Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry},
year = {2018},
month = sep,
issn = {1588-2780},
url = {},
__markedentry = {[sterba:]},
abstract = {Related to the recent nuclear release of radioactive ruthenium isotopes in fall 2017, we analyzed air filters from Vienna for irregularities in the (stable) elemental composition of particulate matter from this period. Methods were SEM/EDXS and INAA. For comparison, a reference filter from 2007 and blank filters were used. The chemical fingerprint encompassed 28 elements. The results show no indication for a considerable change in the elemental composition of the suspended matter. For example, no anomalies in the abundance of platinum group elements were found. The results suggest that the release of 106Ru had not been accompanied by a release of detectable amounts of (activatable) stable elements.},
file = {:Zok2018.pdf:PDF},
refid = {Zok2018},
spezifikation = {inhouse},

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