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Levels of radium in oily sludge

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Radium in oily sludge is unexplored, and this investigation could serve as a baseline study. We report elevated levels of 224 Ra and 226 Ra in 55 oily sludge samples that were collected from different sites and subjected to high-resolution gamma-ray measurement. The levels in our samples were more than five times higher than the estimated guidelines for soil and regular sludge. The period of investigation extended from January 2003 to January 2004. Both radium isotopes were identified by their characteristic gamma rays, whilst the short-lived one ( 224 Ra) was also identified by its half-life. Samples (1 kg dry weight) were counted for 12 hours, and activities between 150-1000 Bq/kg were recorded. The sludge is regarded as a useful building material and as an additive for soil enrichment, and remediation procedures are suggested to deplete the activity levels in the sludge prior to its use for these purposes.
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Keywords: 224Ra; 226Ra; Gamma-ray spectroscopy; Oily sludge; Radioactivity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Chemistry College of Science Sultan Qaboos University P.O. Box 36 Al Khoud, 123 Sultanate of Oman

Publication date: February 1, 2005

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