Environmental geochemistry of technetium

Amanda H. Meena, Yuji Arai

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Technetium-99 (99Tc) is a radioactive isotope with a half-life of 2.13 × 105 year. 99Tc is a major radionuclide contaminant of concern for the world. Therefore, detailed understanding of 99Tc environmental chemistry is important for protecting human and ecological health. Here, we review the aqueous geochemistry of 99Tc, focusing on chemical properties and behavior of 99Tc in the hydrosphere and pedosphere. We describe the general chemistry of Tc including coordination chemistry, isotope chemistry and solid-state chemistry. Then we present anthropogenic and indigenous sources of 99Tc and their environmental distribution. We also discuss the radiotoxicity of 99Tc and the use of 99Tc for medical purpose. Tc biogeochemistry is described through sorption and desorption reactions at the mineral–water interface, thermodynamic of surface complexation, abiotic and biotic redox reaction of Tc(VII). Finally, we summarize the 99Tc remediation technologies including cement waste forms, natural remediation, vitrification, nuclear waste transmutation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-263
Number of pages23
JournalEnvironmental Chemistry Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • Environmental chemistry
  • Fate
  • Pertechnetate
  • Radiotoxicity
  • Remediation
  • Technetium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry


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