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Title: Development of Novel Porous Sorbents for Extraction of Uranium from Seawater

Abstract

Climate disruption is one of the greatest crises the global community faces in the 21st century. Alarming increases in CO 2, NO, SO 2 and particulate matter levels will have catastrophic consequences on the environment, food supplies, and human health if no action is taken to lessen their worldwide prevalence. Nuclear energy remains the only mature technology capable of continuous base-load power generation with ultralow carbon dioxide, nitric oxide, and sulfur dioxide emissions. Over the lifetime of the technology, nuclear energy outputs less than 1.5% the carbon dioxide emissions per gigawatt hour relative to coal—about as much as onshore wind power.1 However, in order for nuclear energy to be considered a viable option in the future, a stable supply of uranium must be secured. Current estimates suggest there is less than 100 years’ worth of uranium left in terrestrial ores (6.3 million tons) if current consumption levels remain unchanged.2 It is likely, however, that demand for nuclear fuel will rise as a direct consequence of the ratification of global climate accords. The oceans, containing approximately 4.5 billion tons of uranium (U) at a uniform concentration of ~3 ppb, represent a virtually limitless supply of this resource.3 Development of technologies tomore » recover uranium from seawater would greatly improve the U resource availability, providing a U price ceiling for the current generation and sustaining the nuclear fuel supply for future generations. Several methods have been previously evaluated for uranium sequestration including solvent extraction, ion exchange, flotation, biomass collection, and adsorption; however, none have been found to be suitable for reasons including cost effectiveness, long term stability, and selectivity.4,5 While polymer beads and fibers have been functionalized with amidoxime functional groups to afford U adsorption capacities as high as 1.5 g U/kg,6 further discoveries are needed to make uranium extraction from seawater economically feasible.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Univ. of Chicago, IL (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Chicago, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE). Nuclear Energy University Programs (NEUP)
OSTI Identifier:
1363745
Report Number(s):
DOE/NEUP-13-5332
13-5332; TRN: US1702244
DOE Contract Number:  
NE0000700
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; URANIUM; SEAWATER; NUCLEAR FUELS; NUCLEAR ENERGY; ABUNDANCE

Citation Formats

Lin, Wenbin. Development of Novel Porous Sorbents for Extraction of Uranium from Seawater. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1363745.
Lin, Wenbin. Development of Novel Porous Sorbents for Extraction of Uranium from Seawater. United States. doi:10.2172/1363745.
Lin, Wenbin. Thu . "Development of Novel Porous Sorbents for Extraction of Uranium from Seawater". United States. doi:10.2172/1363745. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1363745.
@article{osti_1363745,
title = {Development of Novel Porous Sorbents for Extraction of Uranium from Seawater},
author = {Lin, Wenbin},
abstractNote = {Climate disruption is one of the greatest crises the global community faces in the 21st century. Alarming increases in CO2, NO, SO2 and particulate matter levels will have catastrophic consequences on the environment, food supplies, and human health if no action is taken to lessen their worldwide prevalence. Nuclear energy remains the only mature technology capable of continuous base-load power generation with ultralow carbon dioxide, nitric oxide, and sulfur dioxide emissions. Over the lifetime of the technology, nuclear energy outputs less than 1.5% the carbon dioxide emissions per gigawatt hour relative to coal—about as much as onshore wind power.1 However, in order for nuclear energy to be considered a viable option in the future, a stable supply of uranium must be secured. Current estimates suggest there is less than 100 years’ worth of uranium left in terrestrial ores (6.3 million tons) if current consumption levels remain unchanged.2 It is likely, however, that demand for nuclear fuel will rise as a direct consequence of the ratification of global climate accords. The oceans, containing approximately 4.5 billion tons of uranium (U) at a uniform concentration of ~3 ppb, represent a virtually limitless supply of this resource.3 Development of technologies to recover uranium from seawater would greatly improve the U resource availability, providing a U price ceiling for the current generation and sustaining the nuclear fuel supply for future generations. Several methods have been previously evaluated for uranium sequestration including solvent extraction, ion exchange, flotation, biomass collection, and adsorption; however, none have been found to be suitable for reasons including cost effectiveness, long term stability, and selectivity.4,5 While polymer beads and fibers have been functionalized with amidoxime functional groups to afford U adsorption capacities as high as 1.5 g U/kg,6 further discoveries are needed to make uranium extraction from seawater economically feasible.},
doi = {10.2172/1363745},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu May 25 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Thu May 25 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

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