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Title: Extracting Uranium from Seawater: Promising AF Series Adsorbents

Abstract

A new family of high-surface-area polyethylene fiber adsorbents named the AF series was recently developed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The AF series adsorbents were synthesized by radiation-induced graft polymerization of acrylonitrile and itaconic acid (at different monomer/comonomer mol ratios) onto high surface area polyethylene fibers. The degree of grafting (%DOG) of AF series adsorbents was found to be 154-354%. The grafted nitrile groups were converted to amidoxime groups by treating with hydroxylamine. The amidoximated adsorbents were then conditioned with 0.44 M KOH at 80 °C followed by screening at ORNL with sodium-based synthetic aqueous solution, spiked with 8 ppm uranium. The uranium adsorption capacity in simulated seawater screening ranged from 170 to 200 g-U/kg-ads irrespective of %DOG. A monomer/comonomer molar ratio in the range of 7.57-10.14 seemed to be optimum for highest uranium loading capacity. Subsequently, the adsorbents were also tested with natural seawater at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) using flow-through column experiments to determine uranium loading capacity with varying KOH conditioning times at 80 °C. The highest adsorption capacity of AF1 measured after 56 days of marine testing was demonstrated as 3.9 g-U/kg-adsorbent and 3.2 g-U/kg-adsorbent for 1 and 3 h of KOH conditioning atmore » 80 °C, respectively. Based on capacity values of several AF1 samples, it was observed that changing KOH conditioning from 1 to 3 h at 80 °C resulted in a 22-27% decrease in uranium adsorption capacity in seawater.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
OSTI Identifier:
1327097
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-120398
Journal ID: ISSN 0888-5885; AF5855000
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research; Journal Volume: 55; Journal Issue: 15
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; uranium from seawater; Amidoxime

Citation Formats

Das, S., Oyola, Y., Mayes, Richard T., Janke, Chris J., Kuo, L. -J., Gill, G., Wood, J. R., and Dai, S. Extracting Uranium from Seawater: Promising AF Series Adsorbents. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1021/acs.iecr.5b03136.
Das, S., Oyola, Y., Mayes, Richard T., Janke, Chris J., Kuo, L. -J., Gill, G., Wood, J. R., & Dai, S. Extracting Uranium from Seawater: Promising AF Series Adsorbents. United States. doi:10.1021/acs.iecr.5b03136.
Das, S., Oyola, Y., Mayes, Richard T., Janke, Chris J., Kuo, L. -J., Gill, G., Wood, J. R., and Dai, S. Wed . "Extracting Uranium from Seawater: Promising AF Series Adsorbents". United States. doi:10.1021/acs.iecr.5b03136.
@article{osti_1327097,
title = {Extracting Uranium from Seawater: Promising AF Series Adsorbents},
author = {Das, S. and Oyola, Y. and Mayes, Richard T. and Janke, Chris J. and Kuo, L. -J. and Gill, G. and Wood, J. R. and Dai, S.},
abstractNote = {A new family of high-surface-area polyethylene fiber adsorbents named the AF series was recently developed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The AF series adsorbents were synthesized by radiation-induced graft polymerization of acrylonitrile and itaconic acid (at different monomer/comonomer mol ratios) onto high surface area polyethylene fibers. The degree of grafting (%DOG) of AF series adsorbents was found to be 154-354%. The grafted nitrile groups were converted to amidoxime groups by treating with hydroxylamine. The amidoximated adsorbents were then conditioned with 0.44 M KOH at 80 °C followed by screening at ORNL with sodium-based synthetic aqueous solution, spiked with 8 ppm uranium. The uranium adsorption capacity in simulated seawater screening ranged from 170 to 200 g-U/kg-ads irrespective of %DOG. A monomer/comonomer molar ratio in the range of 7.57-10.14 seemed to be optimum for highest uranium loading capacity. Subsequently, the adsorbents were also tested with natural seawater at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) using flow-through column experiments to determine uranium loading capacity with varying KOH conditioning times at 80 °C. The highest adsorption capacity of AF1 measured after 56 days of marine testing was demonstrated as 3.9 g-U/kg-adsorbent and 3.2 g-U/kg-adsorbent for 1 and 3 h of KOH conditioning at 80 °C, respectively. Based on capacity values of several AF1 samples, it was observed that changing KOH conditioning from 1 to 3 h at 80 °C resulted in a 22-27% decrease in uranium adsorption capacity in seawater.},
doi = {10.1021/acs.iecr.5b03136},
journal = {Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research},
number = 15,
volume = 55,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Apr 20 00:00:00 EDT 2016},
month = {Wed Apr 20 00:00:00 EDT 2016}
}
  • Here, a new family of high surface area polyethylene fiber adsorbents (AF series) was recently developed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The AF series of were synthesized by radiation-induced graft polymerization of acrylonitrile and itaconic acid (at different monomer/co-monomer mol ratios) onto high surface area polyethylene fibers. The degree of grafting (%DOG) of AF series adsorbents was found to be 154 354%. The grafted nitrile groups were converted to amidoxime groups by treating with hydroxylamine. The amidoximated adsorbents were then conditioned with 0.44M KOH at 80 C followed by screening at ORNL with simulated seawater spiked with 8more » ppm uranium. Uranium adsorption capacity in simulated seawater screening ranged from 170-200 g-U/kg-ads irrespective of %DOG. A monomer/co-monomer mol ratio in the range of 7.57-10.14 seemed to be optimum for highest uranium loading capacity. Subsequently, the adsorbents were also tested with natural seawater at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) using flow-through exposure uptake experiments to determine uranium loading capacity with varying KOH conditioning time at 80 C. The highest adsorption capacity of AF1 measured after 56 days of marine testing was demonstrated as 3.9 g-U/kg-adsorbent and 3.2 g-U/kg-adsorbent for 1hr and 3hrs of KOH conditioning at 80 C, respectively. Based on capacity values of several AF1 samples, it was observed that changing KOH conditioning from 3hrs to 1hr at 80 C resulted in 22-27% increase in uranium loading capacity in seawater.« less
  • A new series of adsorbents (AI10 through AI17) were successfully developed at ORNL by radiation induced graft polymerization (RIGP) of acrylonitrile (AN) and vinylphosphonic acid (VPA) (at different mole to mole ratios) onto high surface area polyethylene fiber, with high degrees of grafting (DOG) varying from 110 to 300%. The grafted nitrile groups were converted to amidoxime groups by reaction with 5 wt % hydroxylamine at 80 °C for 72 h. The amidoximated adsorbents were then conditioned with 0.44 M KOH at 80 °C followed by screening at ORNL with prescreening brine spiked with 8 ppm uranium. Uranium adsorption capacitiesmore » in prescreening ranged from 171 to 187 g-U/kg-ads irrespective of percent DOG. The performance of the adsorbents with respect to uranium adsorption in natural seawater was also investigated using flow-throughcolumn testing at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). Three hours of KOH conditioning led to higher uranium uptake than 1 h of conditioning. The adsorbent AI11, containing AN and VPA at the mole ratio of 3.52, emerged as the potential candidate for the highest uranium adsorption (3.35 g-U/kg-ads.) after 56 days of exposure in seawater flow-through-columns. The rate of vanadium adsorption over uranium linearly increased throughout the 56 days of exposure. The total mass of vanadium uptake was ~5 times greater than uranium after 56 days.« less
  • A series of adsorbent (AI10 through AI17) were successfully developed at ORNL by radiation induced graft polymerization (RIGP) of acrylonitrile (AN) and vinylphosphonic acid (VPA) (at different mole/mole ratios) onto high surface area polyethylene fiber, with higher degree of grafting which ranges from 110 300%. The grafted nitrile groups were converted to amidoxime groups by reaction with 10 wt% hydroxylamine at 80 C for 72 hours. The amidoximated adsorbents were then conditioned with 0.44M KOH at 80 C followed by screening at ORNL with simulated seawater spiked with 8 ppm uranium. Uranium adsorption capacity in simulated seawater screening ranged frommore » 171-187 g-U/kg-ads irrespective of %DOG. The performance of the adsorbents for uranium adsorption in natural seawater was also carried out using flow-through-column at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). The three hours KOH conditioning was better for higher uranium uptake than one hour. The adsorbent AI11 containing AN and VPA at the mole ration of 3.52, emerged as the potential candidate for higher uranium adsorption (3.35 g-U/Kg-ads.) after 56 days of exposure in the seawater in the flow-through-column. The rate vanadium adsorption over uranium was linearly increased throughout the 56 days exposure. The total vanadium uptake was ~5 times over uranium after 56 days.« less
  • Porous amidoxime hollow fibers, which were prepared by radiation-induced graft polymerization of acrylonitrile onto porous polyethylene hollow fibers and subsequent amidoximation, were used as packing materials of the adsorption bed for uranium recovery from seawater. Seawater was forced to flow through the bed charged with the amidoxime hollow fibers either by pumping or by ocean current. Uranium concentration decay through the bed could be well correlated with residence time based on the adsorption rate expressed in terms of the overall mass-transfer coefficient. The resultant activation energy of 20 kcal/mol for uranium adsorption was indicative of the chelate formation of themore » amidoxime group with uranyl species as a rate-determining step.« less
  • High-surface-area amidoxime and carboxylic acid grafted polymer adsorbents developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory were tested for sequestering uranium in a flowing seawater flume system at the PNNL-Marine Sciences Laboratory. FTIR spectra indicate that a KOH conditioning process is necessary to remove the proton from the carboxylic acid and make the sorbent effective for sequestering uranium from seawater. The alkaline conditioning process also converts the amidoxime groups to carboxylate groups in the adsorbent. Both Na 2CO 3-H 2O 2 and hydrochloric acid elution methods can remove ~95% of the uranium sequestered by the adsorbent after 42 days of exposure inmore » real seawater. The Na 2CO 3-H 2O 2 elution method is more selective for uranium than conventional acid elution. Iron and vanadium are the two major transition metals competing with uranium for adsorption to the amidoxime-based adsorbents in real seawater.« less