Immobilizing problematic liquid waste in a cementitious form

SCK•CEN Mentor

Ferreira Eduardo,, +32 (0)14 33 82 06

Expert group

R&D Waste Packages

SCK•CEN Co-mentor

Hendrix Katrien , , +32 (0)14 33 32 55


The Waste and Disposal expert group conducts research on the behavior of nuclear waste, its surrounding engineered and natural barriers, and their interactions. It is composed of a multi-disciplinary team of engineers and scientists specialized in material sciences, geology, radionuclide chemistry, geochemistry and mass transport phenomena. Recently, the Waste and Disposal group has broadened its scope and also started to conduct research on the immobilization of liquid waste streams. The immobilization process can be done in various ways, cementation being the best known and most applied technique. To investigate this, a new lab with state of the art equipment has been installed. Expertise has been built in the past year in different projects, but the novelty of this research within the Waste and Disposal group makes cementation an exciting research subject.


The project is comprised of three parts.

  • Firstly, the student/intern will need to prepare a non-radioactive simulant of a real waste stream in a reproducible way, at lab scale. The non-radioactive simulant will be characterized for e.g. its viscosity, pH, water content.  
  • Secondly, the student/intern is to evaluate the pre-treatment of this simulant. This includes neutralization of the waste stream to an optimal pH.
  • Thirdly, the pre-treated simulant will be immobilized in a cementitious form. The obtained cemented waste will be evaluated for its strength, stability and microstructure, which implies the use of different analysis techniques such as XRD, SEM-EDX and pressure and bending strength evaluation according to standards.

Specific competences for the student include knowledge of inorganic chemistry, working accurately, good reporting skills, good knowledge of English and the willingness to master several new (analysis) techniques.

The minimum diploma level of the candidate needs to be

A2: Upper secondary school (+7th year BSO)

The candidate needs to have a background in

Chemistry , Milieu technologie