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Energy and Environment Directorate

Sarah Saslow

Sarah Saslow

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
PO Box 999
Richland, WA 99352
(509) 371-7175


Sarah Saslow has over 10 years of experience in fundamental and applied geochemical research. Since joining PNNL in 2015, her work has focused primarily on the immobilization of radionuclides and co-mingled contaminants that persist in nuclear waste streams or that require remediation from the Hanford subsurface. Specifically, her research seeks to understand how radionuclide incorporation into primary and secondary mineral phases may be used to improve current immobilization and remediation strategies. Her expertise in solid phase characterization techniques, including X-ray absorption spectroscopies (XANES/EXAFS), microprobe X-ray fluorescence mapping, XPS, and XRD, is often used to extrapolate the fundamental mechanisms driving material performance. Before joining the PNNL team, Sarah was a PhD student at Northwestern University where she used nonlinear optics (second harmonic generation) to research the chemical and electrostatic properties of mineral/water interfaces and the impact these properties have on metal contaminant transport through the environment.

Research Interests

  • Solid Phase Characterization
  • Cementitious Waste Form Development
  • Geochemical Fate and Transport of Metals and Radionuclides
  • Contaminant Immobilization and Remediation
  • Interfacial Chemical Processes
  • Secondary Mineral Formation

Education and Credentials

  • Ph.D., Chemistry, Northwestern University
  • B.S., Chemistry (with Honors), Minor in Geology, University of Maryland, College Park

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • American Chemical Society
  • The Geochemical Society

Awards and Recognitions

  • 2018 – Exceptional Contribution Program Award, PNNL
  • 2017 – Outstanding Performance Award, PNNL
  • 2017 – Outstanding Performance Award, PNNL
  • 2014 – Mentorship Opportunities for Research Engagement (MORE) Best Mentor Award, Northwestern University
  • 2011 – NSF Graduate Research Fellow, Northwestern University
  • 2011 – L. Carroll King Excellence in 100-Level Teaching Award, Northwestern University
  • 2010 – Greater Institute of Washington Chemist Award, University of Maryland, College Park,
  • 2009 – ACS Analytical Chemistry Award, University of Maryland, College Park

PNNL Publications


  • Asmussen R.M., A.M. Westesen, E. Cordova, A. Fujii Yamagata, P.P. Schonewill, A.C. Moore, and A. Bourchy, et al. 2023. "Iodine Removal from Carbonate-Containing Alkaline Liquids using Strong Base Resins, Hybrid Resins, and Silver Precipitation." Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research 62, no. 7:3271-3281. PNNL-SA-178096. doi:10.1021/acs.iecr.2c03527
  • Bourchy A., A. Fujii Yamagata, G.L. Smith, G.J. Sevigny, B.N. Seiner, and S.A. Saslow. 2023. "Cerium oxide impact on fresh and hardened properties of cementitious materials." Cement and Concrete Research 138. PNNL-SA-172136. doi:10.1016/j.cemconcomp.2023.104976
  • Parmar D., A. Mallette, N. Linares, S.A. Saslow, T. Terlier, J.J. Strohm, and L.P. Barber, et al. 2023. "Direct Synthesis of Highly Siliceous ZnO-FAU Zeolite with Enhanced Performance in Hydrocarbon Cracking Reactions." ACS Materials Letters 5, no. 1:202-208. PNNL-SA-175528. doi:10.1021/acsmaterialslett.2c00978
  • Saslow S.A., E. Cordova, N.M. Escobedo Avalos, O. Qafoku, M.E. Bowden, C.T. Resch, and N. Lahiri, et al. 2023. "Accumulation mechanisms for contaminants on weak-base hybrid ion exchange resins." Journal of Hazardous Materials 459. PNNL-SA-167020. doi:10.1016/j.jhazmat.2023.132165
  • Saslow S.A., T.G. Levitskaia, E. Cordova, N.M. Avalos, D. Boglaienko, Y. Fang, and X. Song, et al. 2023. "Part I: Predicting Performance of Purolite A532E Resins for Remediation of Comingled Contaminants in Groundwater." Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering 11, no. 3:Art. No. 109618. PNNL-SA-178092. doi:10.1016/j.jece.2023.109618
  • Saslow S.A., T.G. Levitskaia, E. Cordova, N.M. Avalos, D. Boglaienko, Y. Fang, and X. Song, et al. 2023. "Part II: Predicting Performance of DOWEX 21K Resin for Remediation of Comingled Contaminants in Groundwater." Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering 11, no. 3:Art. No. 109620. PNNL-SA-178093. doi:10.1016/j.jece.2023.109620
  • Singh B., N. Mahzan, N. Rashid, S. Isa, M. Hafeez, S.A. Saslow, and G. Wang, et al. 2023. "Design and Application of Materials for Sequestration and Immobilization of 99Tc." Environmental Science & Technology 57, no. 17:6776-6798. PNNL-SA-175772. doi:10.1021/acs.est.3c00129


  • Abramson J.E., N.M. Avalos, A. Bourchy, S.A. Saslow, and G.T. Seidler. 2022. "An Exploration of Benchtop X-ray Emission Spectroscopy for Precise Characterization of the Sulfur Redox State in Cementitious Materials." X-Ray Spectrometry 51, no. 2:151-162. PNNL-SA-165710. doi:10.1002/xrs.3276
  • Fujii Yamagata A.L., S.A. Saslow, J.J. Neeway, T. Varga, L.R. Reno, Z. Zhu, and K.A. Rod, et al. 2022. "The Behavior of Iodine in Stabilized Granular Activated Carbon and Silver Mordenite in Cementitious Waste Forms." Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 244-245. PNNL-SA-165944. doi:10.1016/j.jenvrad.2022.106824
  • Reiser J., A.R. Lawter, N.M. Avalos, J.F. Bonnett, B.J. Riley, S. Chong, and N.L. Canfield, et al. 2022. "Review and Experimental Comparison of the Durability of Iodine Waste Forms in Semi-Dynamic Leach Testing." Chemical Engineering Journal Advances 11. PNNL-SA-165785. doi:10.1016/j.ceja.2022.100300
  • Reiser J., K. Tolman, M. Kropp, R.M. Kissinger, S.A. Saslow, D.A. Cutforth, and J. Crum, et al. 2022. "Fabrication of Radioactive and Non-radioactive Titanate and Zirconate Ceramics for Immobilization of Used Nuclear Fuel." Journal of Nuclear Materials 527. PNNL-SA-171026. doi:10.1016/j.jnucmat.2022.154033
  • Wang G., D. Kim, M.J. Olszta, M.E. Bowden, D.K. Schreiber, S.A. Saslow, and W. Um, et al. 2022. "Metallic Technetium Sequestration in Nickel Core/Shell Microstructure during Fe(OH)2 Transformation with Ni doping." Journal of Hazardous Materials 425. PNNL-SA-146435. doi:10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.127779


  • Avalos N.M., T. Varga, S.T. Mergelsberg, J.A. Silverstein, and S.A. Saslow. 2021. "Behavior of iodate substituted ettringite during aqueous leaching." Applied Geochemistry 125. PNNL-SA-152089. doi:10.1016/j.apgeochem.2020.104863
  • Emerson H.P., C.I. Pearce, C.H. Delegard, K.J. Cantrell, M. Snyder, M. Thomas, and B.N. Gartman, et al. 2021. "Influences on Subsurface Plutonium and Americium Migration." ACS Earth and Space Chemistry 5, no. 2:279-294. PNNL-SA-147891. doi:10.1021/acsearthspacechem.0c00277
  • Gillispie E.C., S.T. Mergelsberg, T. Varga, S.M. Webb, N.M. Avalos, M. Snyder, and A. Bourchy, et al. 2021. "Competitive TcO4-, IO3-, and CrO42- Incorporation into Ettringite." Environmental Science & Technology 55, no. 2:1057-1066. PNNL-SA-151816. doi:10.1021/acs.est.0c06707
  • Lu X., L. Deng, S.A. Saslow, H. Liu, C.J. Benmore, B. Parruzot, and J. Reiser, et al. 2021. "Vanadium Oxidation States and Structural Role in Aluminoborosilicate Glasses: An Integrated Experimental and Molecular Dynamics Simulation Study." Journal of Physical Chemistry B 125, no. 44:12365-12377. PNNL-SA-162939. doi:10.1021/acs.jpcb.1c07134
  • Mergelsberg S.T., M.P. Prange, D. Song, E.J. Bylaska, S.A. Saslow, J.G. Catalano, and E.S. Ilton. 2021. "Resolving Configurational Disorder for Impurities in a Low Entropy Phase." The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 12, no. 24:5689-5694. PNNL-SA-161096. doi:10.1021/acs.jpclett.1c01218
  • Wang G., M.E. Bowden, S.A. Saslow, B.J. Riley, D. Kim, W.C. Eaton, and A.A. Kruger. 2021. "Micrometer-sized Magnetite Synthesis using Fe(OH)2(s) as a Precursor for Technetium Sequestration from Liquid Nuclear Waste Streams." Journal of Nuclear Materials 552. PNNL-SA-158404. doi:10.1016/j.jnucmat.2021.152964
  • Wang G., M.J. Olszta, S.A. Saslow, D. Kim, M.E. Bowden, W. Um, and J. Wang, et al. 2021. "A Focused Ion Beam-Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy with Energy-Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy Study on Technetium Incorporation within Iron Oxides through Fe(OH)2(s) Mineral Transformation." ACS Earth and Space Chemistry 5, no. 3:525-534. PNNL-SA-151082. doi:10.1021/acsearthspacechem.0c00305


  • Cordova E., V.A. Garayburu-Caruso, C.I. Pearce, K.J. Cantrell, J.W. Morad, E.C. Gillispie, and B.J. Riley, et al. 2020. "Hybrid Sorbents for 129I Capture from Contaminated Groundwater." ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 12, no. 23:26113-26126. PNNL-SA-147889. doi:10.1021/acsami.0c01527
  • Lee M., S.A. Saslow, W. Um, D. Kim, A.A. Kruger, R.J. Rousseau, and V. Glezakou. 2020. "Impact of Cr and Co on 99Tc retention in magnetite: A combined study of ab initio molecular dynamics and experiments." Journal of Hazardous Materials 387. PNNL-SA-146954. doi:10.1016/j.jhazmat.2019.121721
  • Moore R.C., C.I. Pearce, J.W. Morad, S. Chatterjee, T.G. Levitskaia, R.M. Asmussen, and A.R. Lawter, et al. 2020. "Iodine Immobilization by Materials through Sorption and Redox-Driven Processes: A Literature Review." Science of the Total Environment 716. PNNL-SA-138461. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.06.166
  • Pearce C.I., E. Cordova, W.L. Garcia, S.A. Saslow, K.J. Cantrell, J.W. Morad, and O. Qafoku, et al. 2020. "Evaluation of materials for iodine and technetium immobilization through sorption and redox-driven processes." Science of the Total Environment 716. PNNL-SA-138462. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.136167
  • Pearce C.I., R.C. Moore, J.W. Morad, R.M. Asmussen, S. Chatterjee, A.R. Lawter, and T.G. Levitskaia, et al. 2020. "Technetium Immobilization by Materials through Sorption and Redox-Driven Processes: A Literature Review." Science of the Total Environment 716. PNNL-SA-138464. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.06.195
  • Saslow S.A., C.I. Pearce, M.E. Bowden, W.W. Lukens, D. Kim, A.A. Kruger, and W. Um. 2020. "Kinetics of Co-Mingled 99Tc and Cr Removal During Mineral Transformation of Ferrous Hydroxide." ACS Earth and Space Chemistry 4, no. 2:218-228. PNNL-SA-147021. doi:10.1021/acsearthspacechem.9b00277


  • Bylaska E.J., J.G. Catalano, S.T. Mergelsberg, S.A. Saslow, O. Qafoku, M.P. Prange, and E.S. Ilton. 2019. "Association of Defects and Zinc in Hematite." Environmental Science & Technology 53, no. 23:13687-13694. PNNL-SA-144849. doi:10.1021/acs.est.9b04323
  • Saslow S.A., S.N. Kerisit, T. Varga, K.C. Johnson, N.M. Avalos, A.R. Lawter, and N. Qafoku. 2019. "Chromate Effect on Iodate Incorporation into Calcite." ACS Earth and Space Chemistry 3, no. 8:1624-1630. PNNL-SA-141592. doi:10.1021/acsearthspacechem.9b00047


  • Cantrell K.J., I.I. Leavy, M. Snyder, S.R. Baum, S.D. Shen, B.D. Williams, and S.A. Saslow, et al. 2018. Off-Gas Condensate and Cast Stone Analysis Results. PNNL-27765. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. doi:10.2172/1476714.Off-Gas Condensate and Cast Stone Analysis Results
  • Gartman B.N., J.E. Szecsody, C.E. Bagwell, E.S. Arnold, C.F. Brown, S.A. Saslow, and C.I. Pearce, et al. 2018. "Combining reductive and sequestering technologies as a potential remediation strategy for a perched water zone at Hanford, WA." Science of the Total Environment. PNNL-SA-147885.
  • Kerisit S.N., F.N. Smith, M.E. Hoover, S.A. Saslow, and N. Qafoku. 2018. "Incorporation Modes of Iodate in Calcite." Environmental Science & Technology 52, no. 10:5902-5910. PNNL-SA-129924. doi:10.1021/acs.est.8b00339
  • Lawter A.R., W.L. Garcia, R.K. Kukkadapu, O. Qafoku, M.E. Bowden, S.A. Saslow, and N. Qafoku. 2018. "Technetium and iodine aqueous species immobilization and transformations in the presence of strong reductants and calcite-forming solutions: Remedial action implications." Science of the Total Environment 636. PNNL-SA-129751. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.04.240
  • Lukens W.W., and S.A. Saslow. 2018. "Facile incorporation of technetium into magnetite, magnesioferrite, and hematite by formation of ferrous nitrate in situ: precursors to iron oxide nuclear waste forms." Chemistry of Materials 47. PNNL-SA-132453. doi:10.1039/C8DT01356J
  • Pearce C.I., R.J. Serne, S.A. Saslow, W. Um, R.M. Asmussen, M.D. Miller, and O. Qafoku, et al. 2018. "Characterizing Technetium in Subsurface Sediments for Contaminant Remediation." ACS Earth and Space Chemistry 2, no. 11:1145-1160. PNNL-SA-130781. doi:10.1021/acsearthspacechem.8b00077
  • Pearce C.I., S.A. Saslow, R.M. Asmussen, W. Um, J.N. Serne, M.D. Miller, and O. Qafoku, et al. 2018. "Exploiting Knowledge of Technetium in the Subsurface to Develop Remediation Strategies - 18223." In Proceedings of the 44th Annual Waste Management Conference (WM2018), Nuclear and Industrial Robotics, Remote Systems and Other Emerging Technology, March 18-22, 2018, Phoenix, AZ, 8, 5082-5090. Tempe, Arizona:Waste Management Symposia, Inc. PNNL-SA-130601.
  • Saslow S.A., W. Um, C.I. Pearce, M.E. Bowden, W.W. Lukens, M.H. Engelhard, and D. Kim, et al. 2018. "Cr(VI) Effect on Tc-99 Removal from Hanford Low-Activity Waste Simulant by Ferrous Hydroxide." Environmental Science & Technology 52, no. 20:11752-11759. PNNL-SA-135971. doi:10.1021/acs.est.8b03314


  • Lukens W.W., and S.A. Saslow. 2017. "Aqueous Synthesis of Technetium-Doped Titanium Dioxide by Direct Oxidation of Titanium Powder, a Precursor for Ceramic Nuclear Waste Forms." Chemistry of Materials 29, no. 24:10369-10376. PNNL-SA-128363. doi:10.1021/acs.chemmater.7b03567
  • Saslow S.A., W. Um, C.I. Pearce, M.H. Engelhard, M.E. Bowden, W.W. Lukens, and I.I. Leavy, et al. 2017. "Reduction and Simultaneous Removal of 99Tc and Cr by Fe(OH)2(s) Mineral Transformation." Environmental Science & Technology 51, no. 15:8635-8642. PNNL-SA-125836. doi:10.1021/acs.est.7b02278
  • Saslow S.A., W. Um, R.L. Russell, G. Wang, R.M. Asmussen, and R. Sahajpal. 2017. Updated Liquid Secondary Waste Grout Formulation and Preliminary Waste Form Qualification. PNNL-26443; RPT-SWCS-009 Rev 0. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. doi:10.2172/1373004.Updated Liquid Secondary Waste Grout Formulation and Preliminary Waste Form Qualification
  • Um W., S.A. Luksic, G. Wang, S.A. Saslow, D. Kim, M.J. Schweiger, and C.Z. Soderquist, et al. 2017. "Enhanced 99Tc Retention in Glass Waste Form using Tc(IV)-Incorporated." Journal of Nuclear Materials 495, no. C:455-462. PNNL-SA-123344. doi:10.1016/j.jnucmat.2017.09.007


  • Ohno P.E., S.A. Saslow, H. Wang, F.M. Geiger, and K.B. Eisenthal. 2016. "Phase-referenced Nonlinear Spectroscopy of the a-Quartz/Water Interface." Nature Communications 7. PNNL-SA-119274. doi:10.1038/ncomms13587

Energy and Environment

Core Research Areas