# Radioactive decay of ions in solution [closed]

What happens when ionic salts in solution decays? For example, if I had a handful of Francium-223 Palmitate(Francium salt of palmitic acid) and I were to put it in solution, how would the francium decay? Since the francium is in solution, the francium would exist as an ion and if it decays, I would think that it would stay as an ion and become either At+ or Ra+. And after that, what would happen to the Palmitate ion? Would it still be ionically bonded with the decay products?

EDIT: I was thinking of the saponification reaction when making this thread, as in the FrOH would react with tripalmitin, but then again I saw some comments saying that the radioactive decay of francium would blow up the Francium Palmitate, and I wasn't thinking too much when creating this thread, so I'll rephrase this. I was thinking about the radioactive decay of salts, like for example if you were to hypothetically dissolve FrCl (yes it will evaporate the water but that wasn't my question) in water(if it exists and/or is soluble in water), since it is in solution, the electron from Francium would end up sticking with the Chlorine atom, creating a Chloride anion and a Francium cation. And I was asking what would happen to the Francium cation, after the radioactive decay. Would it keep it's positive charge? And what would happen to the salt if the Francium cation actually kept its charge after the decay? If it doesn't keep the charge, what would happen to the chlorine radical? (I don't know much about chemistry so pls be nice)

• I would doubt francium palmitate is readily soluble in water; what solvent are you proposing? I also doubt there is going to be any ionic bonding, and nuclear processes usually don't care where to occur, in bulk or in solution; the products are either entrapped in the solid matrix or, in case of a soluble compound, released and their fate depends on what solution we are talking about. – andselisk May 31 '20 at 6:11
• If you had a handful of francium palmitate,, it would blow up due enormous heat production rate. If you survived that, what is very improbable, you would die soon from radiation exposure. – Poutnik May 31 '20 at 6:39
• Francium itself is unstable. Its most stable isotope has a half life of 22 minutes and then quickly decays to radon, astatine etc. I don't think francium palmitate will exist in any form even if you forcefully react francium and palmitic acid. – Nilay Ghosh May 31 '20 at 7:29
• A handfull of pure Fr-223 salt would heat up with a power of about 1 MW. That would evaporate the solution within a few seconds and produce significant radiolysis. After 1 s in 1 m distance to the solution, your effective dose would be more than 40 Sv, which is enough to kill you after a few days. – user7951 May 31 '20 at 7:56
• A house is hit directly with a nuclear explosion, and you are worrying about the origami figures on the window sill. Will they get damaged? Er, well... – Ivan Neretin May 31 '20 at 8:14

According to Wikipedia, $$\ce{^{223}Fr}$$ decays with the half-time 22 minute mostly by beta decay to $$\ce{^{223}Ra}$$ ( 99.994% ) and rarely ( 0.004 % ) by alpha decay to $$\ce{^{219}At}$$.
Radicals from the organic matter would tend to recombine, preferably with other radicals or ions, eventually would react with other molecules. Ions would have tendency to quickly gain such a charge they are used to have by scavenging free protons and electrons, or tearing them from other molecules. Radium would end as ion $$\ce{Ra^2+}$$ and would (co)precipitate as insoluble radium palmitate.
But better would be to consider more stable isotopes, like caesium palmitate ( $$\ce{^{137}Cs}$$ with the half-life about $$\pu{30 years}$$ ) or potassium palmitate ( the natural weakly radioactive isotope $$\ce{^{40}K}$$ with the half-like $$\pu{1.5e9 years}$$.) You know all plants and animals are naturally radioactive, don't you ?