Dr Pieter Bots

Research Associate

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Personal statement

After my PhD in environmental mineralogy at the University of Leeds I moved to the University of Manchester in 2012 for a Postdoc position in actinide biogeochemistry on the NERC funded BIGRAD project.

Finally, in 2016 I joined the University of Strathclyde on the Little Forrest Legacy Site (LFLS) immobilization project. The LFLS contains several trenches with radiactive legacy waste from the 1950s and 60s. The University of Strathclyde has a strong prortfolio in grouting techniques. For the LFLS the preferred grouting technique at present is a colloidal silica based grout due to its low viscosity, low toxicity and chemical inertness. There, are however still uncertainties how such a grout would be have within waste forms and how any radionuclides (e.g. Sr-90, Cs-137 and Pu) behave during and after the injection and gelling of colloidal silica based grouts and how additives affect this behaviour.


Neptunium(V) and uranium(VI) reactions at the magnetite (111) surface
Bots Pieter, van Veelen Arjen, Mosselmans J Frederick W, Muryn Christopher, Wogelius Roy A, Morris Katherine
Geosciences Vol 9 (2019)
The role of microbial sulfate reduction in calcium carbonate polymorph selection
Lin Chin Yik, Turchyn Alexandra V, Steiner Zvi, Bots Pieter, Lampronti Giulio I, Tosca Nicholas J
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta Vol 237, pp. 184-204 (2018)
The DISTINCTIVE university consortium : structural integrity
Lunn Rebecca, Hamilton Andrea, Pedrotti Matteo, Bots Pieter, Wong Christopher, El Mountassir Grainne, Renshaw Joanna, Maddalena Riccardo, Zhao Cheng, Sun Li, Stolkin Rustam, Fairweather Michael, Tovey Lois, Boxall Colin, Hriljac Joseph, Hyatt Neil, Kaltsoyannis Nikolas, Lee William, Read David, Scott Thomas
44th Annual Waste Management Conference (WM2018) 44th Annual Waste Management Conference, pp. 6195-6209 (2018)
Impacts of repeated redox cycling on technetium mobility in the environment
Masters-Waage Nicholas K, Morris Katherine, Lloyd Jonathan R, Shaw Samuel, Mosselmans J Frederick Willem, Boothman Christopher, Bots Pieter, Rizoulis Athanasios, Livens Francis R, Law Gareth TW
Environmental Science and Technology Vol 51, pp. 14301–14310 (2017)
Uranium(V) incorporation mechanisms and stability in Fe(II)/Fe(III) (oxyhydr)oxides
Roberts Hananah E, Morris Katherine, Law Gareth T W, Mosselmans J Frederick W, Bots Pieter, Kvashnina Kristina, Shaw Samuel
Environmental Science and Technology Letters Vol 4, pp. 421-426 (2017)
Reaction pathways and textural aspects of the replacement of anhydrite by calcite at 25 ºC
Roncal-Herrero Teresa, Astilleros Jose Manuel, Bots Pieter, Rodriguez-Blanco Juan Diego, Prieto Manuel, Benning Liane G, Fernández-Díaz Lurdes
American Mineralogist Vol 102, pp. 1270-1278 (2017)

more publications

Research interests

Nucleation, growth and transformation processes of (nano-particulate) mineral phases in aquatic environments in natural and engineered environments

Surface chemical and thermodynamic control on the solubility and mobility of metals (e.g. contaminants) in natural and engineered environments

The effects of environmental engineering / (bio)remediation strategies on the geochemistry and surface chemistry of inorganic contaminants

The influence of microbial and biological activity on the formation and transformation of mineral phases in aquatic environments

Professional activities

Geosciences (Journal)
Guest editor
The geochemistry of radionuclides in engineering for the nuclear energy sector.
Invited speaker
The Use of Synchrotron Radiation in Actinide Geochemistry – Geological Disposal of Radioactive Wastes
Invited speaker
Actinide Geochemistry in Geo-disposal Scenarios
Invited speaker
The behaviour of actinides in geological disposal scenarios
Invited speaker
In Situ Study of Uranium(VI) Oxide Colloid Formation and Their Relevance to Geodisposal Relevant Conditions
Invited speaker

more professional activities


Underpinning the safety case for the use of colloidal silica based grout for waste containment
Bots, Pieter (Co-investigator) Lunn, Rebecca (Principal Investigator) El Mountassir, Grainne (Co-investigator) Pedrotti, Matteo (Co-investigator) Payne, Timothy (Co-investigator) Renshaw, Joanna (Co-investigator)
X-ray Computed Tomography beamtime awarded by Diamond Light Source (STFC) at equivalent funding value of £95,940.

Abstract of funded proposal:
In the proposed experiments we aim to develop the scientific case to underpin the use of novel colloidal silica based grouts for radioactive waste containment. We aim to use the element specific capabilities of synchrotron based X-ray CT at beamline I13-2 to investigate the effects of the grout injection on the geochemistry of Sr, Cs and U. We will also utilize the time resolved capabilities to determine the influence of complex solid matrices on the (injection) behaviour of the silica grouts.
06-Jan-2017 - 10-Jan-2017
Impacts of colloidal silica grout injection on the geochemistry of radioactive wastes
Renshaw, Joanna (Principal Investigator) Bots, Pieter (Co-investigator) El Mountassir, Grainne (Co-investigator) Lunn, Rebecca (Co-investigator) Pedrotti, Matteo (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2016 - 31-Jan-2018
Formation and stability of U(V) during biological and abiotic reduction of uranium
Bots, Pieter (Principal Investigator) Shaw, Samuel (Co-investigator) Denecke, Melissa A. (Co-investigator) Law, Gareth (Co-investigator) Morris, Katherine (Co-investigator)
Beamtime at the High-Brilliance X-ray Spectroscopy beamline (ID26) at ESRF, funded through ESRF.

Abstract of research proposal:
Recent studies have shown that HERFD-XANES has the potential to be used to study uranium speciation in complex environmental systems. In this study we propose to utilize HERFD-XANES to investigate U oxidation state and speciation in key abiotic and microbial biogeochemical processes, including U interaction with iron oxide minerals, and single culture microbial U reduction.
19-Jan-2016 - 24-Jan-2016
In situ radionuclide reflEXAFS on I18 Atomic and Macro-scale Studies of Surface Processes (The AMASS Consortium): Towards a Mechanistic Understanding of Surface Reactivity and Radionuclide Binding Mechanisms
Wogelius, Roy (Principal Investigator) Bots, Pieter (Co-investigator) Law, Gareth (Co-investigator) Morris, Katherine (Co-investigator) van Veelen, Arjen (Co-investigator) Mosselmans, J. Frederick W (Principal Investigator)
Beamtime at the micro XAS/XRF beamline (I18) at Diamond Light Source for ReflEXAFS analyses, funded through Diamond Light Source.

Abstract of proposal:
Summary- Key features of this new proposal:
o Static surface resolved measurements with Np(V) (new PDRA (Dr. P. Bots) competent to do Np work added to team)
o Realistic mixed oxide surfaces studied through use of phlogopite mica single
o Further exploration of the magnetite surface attachment and monitoring of Fe mediated electron transfer. The rate of reorganization is critical.
o Experiments will be designed to test and augment complementary computational models
These proposed experiments will build on previous real-time adsorbate configuration experiments at DLS for uranium on portlandite and magnetite under conditions representative of a near-field geological disposal facility. In this next set of experiments we will incorporate improvements into our successful in situ methodology.
08-Jan-2015 - 30-Jan-2015
Formation of Uranium(IV) Colloidal Nanoparticles in Radioactive Waste Storage, Treatment and Disposal
Shaw, Samuel (Principal Investigator) Kenyon, Graham (Co-investigator) Neill, Tom (Co-investigator) Bots, Pieter (Co-investigator) Morris, Katherine (Co-investigator) Pearce, Carolyn (Co-investigator) Weatherill, Joshua (Co-investigator) Bryan, Nick (Co-investigator)
Beamtime at the Small Angle X-ray Scattering Beamline (I22) at Diamond Light Source funded through Diamond Light Source.

Abstract of research proposal:
Uranium(IV) colloids have the potential to greatly enhance the mobility of uranium in anaerobic systems, including contaminated land, geodisposal environments and radioactive waste storage facilities. Recent studies have shown that the presence of silicate has the potential to stabilise U(IV) in a colloidal form (particle size
01-Jan-2015 - 04-Jan-2015
Analysis of Uranium, Technetium and Neptunium Behaviour in Natural and Engineered Environments – B18 XANES and EXAFS
Morris, Katherine (Principal Investigator) Shaw, Samuel (Co-investigator) Livens, Francis (Co-investigator) Bots, Pieter (Co-investigator) Law, Gareth (Co-investigator) Lloyd, Jonathan R. (Co-investigator) Pearce, Carolyn (Co-investigator) Mosselmans, J. Frederick W (Co-investigator)
Beamtime at the Core-EXAFS beamline (B18) at Diamond Light Source, funded through Diamond Light Source.

Abstract of research proposal:
The aim of this proposal is to utilise B18 capability for uranium, technetium and
neptunium bulk XANES and EXAFS analysis across a range of environmental samples relevant to the UK nuclear legacy and serving several ongoing research
projects at the University of Manchester. Specifically, we have three projects where bulk XANES and EXAFS capability in AP16 will be critical to understanding radionuclide behaviour, these are: Task 1. Biocycling of sediments to explore the long-term fate of radionuclides in natural and engineered environments. (Masters-Waage, Newsome, and Usieb); Task 2. The fate of U, Tc and Np in metal-oxide mineral systems including after radiolysis damage (Roberts, Hibberd, Bots, and Bower); and Task 3. The fate of radionuclides in high pH, pure culture experiments (Rizoulis and Bassil).
17-Jan-2015 - 09-Jan-2015

more projects


Civil and Environmental Engineering
James Weir Building

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