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The Aqueous Chemistry of Oxides$
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Bruce C. Bunker and William H. Casey

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199384259

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199384259.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 20 January 2022

Glass Dissolution and Leaching

Glass Dissolution and Leaching

(p.444) 15 Glass Dissolution and Leaching
The Aqueous Chemistry of Oxides

Bruce C. Bunker

William H. Casey

Oxford University Press

Oxide glasses represent some of the most important and prevalent materials that we encounter in our daily lives. The glass industry in the United States produces more than 75,000 glass products, with annual production estimated to be around 20,000,000 t. Roughly 50% of this production is for glass containers for food, beverages, and other liquids. Everyone relies on transparent glass windows for their homes, cars, and even their cell phones. Fiberglass provides insulation for our homes and businesses. We rely on glass for many optical systems, ranging from eyeglasses to microscope lenses to optical fiber communications. Glass is also an optically pleasing material found in many works of art, including stained glass windows. Glass even plays a role in energy transport and storage, being an important electrical insulator used in devices ranging from transformers to batteries. Glass compositions need to be optimized for specific applications, with important parameters being melting properties, thermal conductivity, thermal expansion, strength, dielectric properties, and, of course, optical properties. In most of these applications, glass objects encounter water, either to perform their basic functions or as a result of long-term environmental exposure. This means the chemical properties of many glasses also need to be optimized. Fortunately, borosilicate glasses, which represent the most widely used technological glass compositions, tend to exhibit a high level of resistance to aqueous attack. Understanding the kinetics and mechanisms of glass dissolution is critically important to the nuclear power and defense industries, which involves how to dispose of nuclear wastes safely. These wastes can be exceedingly complex, and contain almost every element found in the Periodic Table. The challenge is to incorporate these wastes into solids that encapsulate radionuclides safely for millions of years. Glass is an attractive option as a waste form because glass melts can accommodate almost all the constituents found in nuclear wastes. However, the deployment of glass waste forms requires the ability to predict the stability of the waste out to exceedingly long times based on science-based glass-dissolution models.

Keywords:   crazing of glass during leaching, nuclear waste forms, uranium, in nuclear waste glass

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