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Title: Functionalized Porous Organic Polymers as Uranium Nano-Traps for Efficient Recovery of Uranium from Seawater

Abstract

The long-term use of nuclear power for energy applications relies on the secure and economical supply of nuclear fuel. Among various natural sources of uranium for use in nuclear reactors, seawater is highly appealing given that the oceans contain about 4.5 billion tons of dissolved uranium, almost 1000 times that estimated for mineral reserves. Nonetheless, the concentration of uranium in seawater is extremely low (3-3.3 mg L -1 or 3-3.3 ppb); this, coupled with the presence of a relatively high concentration of other metal ions, makes uranium recovery from seawater a challenge that requires the development of efficient and effective separation processes. Various adsorbent technologies based upon synthetic organic polymers, biopolymers, inorganic materials, mesoporous silica materials, porous carbon-based adsorbents, and ionic liquids have been widely developed for the extraction of uranium from seawater. However, these benchmark sorbent materials suffer from a number of drawbacks such as low adsorption capacity (typically 0.1~3.2 mg-U g -1 adsorbent), poor selectivity, and slow kinetics. Given the extreme complexity and vast volume of seawater, as well as the very low concentration of uranium present, to attain this ambitious task demands the design of adsorbents with high affinity and fast kinetics. The main objective of thismore » project is to develop functional porous organic polymers (POPs) as a new type of adsorbent for mining uranium from seawater. This class of porous materials has quickly moved to the forefront of materials research due to their high internal surface areas, exceptional water/chemical stability, facile chemical tunability, and extraordinary capability to selectively adsorb large quantities of guest species The potential to deploy POPs in uranium extraction is related to the ease with which their internal surfaces can be decorated with high densities of strong binding sites. Beyond introducing postsynthetic modification, the specific functionalities also can be used as building units to be incorporated into porous frameworks. Our approach to fulfill this task involves the custom-design of POP-based uranium “nano-traps” via a “crystal engineering” guided design followed by stepwise post-synthetic modification. Furthermore, to increase the density of chelating groups and to enhance their affinity towards uranyl ions, judiciously designed chelating systems were constructed into porous organic polymers. Moreover, to improve the accessibility of the chelating groups and thereby the utilization efficiency, we assembled the chelating groups into highly crystalline materials where they are aligned in periodic arrays on the open channels.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Univ. of South Florida, Tampa, FL (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of South Florida, Tampa, FL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
OSTI Identifier:
1471108
DOE Contract Number:  
NE0008281
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Ma, Shengqian. Functionalized Porous Organic Polymers as Uranium Nano-Traps for Efficient Recovery of Uranium from Seawater. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.2172/1471108.
Ma, Shengqian. Functionalized Porous Organic Polymers as Uranium Nano-Traps for Efficient Recovery of Uranium from Seawater. United States. doi:10.2172/1471108.
Ma, Shengqian. Tue . "Functionalized Porous Organic Polymers as Uranium Nano-Traps for Efficient Recovery of Uranium from Seawater". United States. doi:10.2172/1471108. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1471108.
@article{osti_1471108,
title = {Functionalized Porous Organic Polymers as Uranium Nano-Traps for Efficient Recovery of Uranium from Seawater},
author = {Ma, Shengqian},
abstractNote = {The long-term use of nuclear power for energy applications relies on the secure and economical supply of nuclear fuel. Among various natural sources of uranium for use in nuclear reactors, seawater is highly appealing given that the oceans contain about 4.5 billion tons of dissolved uranium, almost 1000 times that estimated for mineral reserves. Nonetheless, the concentration of uranium in seawater is extremely low (3-3.3 mg L-1 or 3-3.3 ppb); this, coupled with the presence of a relatively high concentration of other metal ions, makes uranium recovery from seawater a challenge that requires the development of efficient and effective separation processes. Various adsorbent technologies based upon synthetic organic polymers, biopolymers, inorganic materials, mesoporous silica materials, porous carbon-based adsorbents, and ionic liquids have been widely developed for the extraction of uranium from seawater. However, these benchmark sorbent materials suffer from a number of drawbacks such as low adsorption capacity (typically 0.1~3.2 mg-U g-1 adsorbent), poor selectivity, and slow kinetics. Given the extreme complexity and vast volume of seawater, as well as the very low concentration of uranium present, to attain this ambitious task demands the design of adsorbents with high affinity and fast kinetics. The main objective of this project is to develop functional porous organic polymers (POPs) as a new type of adsorbent for mining uranium from seawater. This class of porous materials has quickly moved to the forefront of materials research due to their high internal surface areas, exceptional water/chemical stability, facile chemical tunability, and extraordinary capability to selectively adsorb large quantities of guest species The potential to deploy POPs in uranium extraction is related to the ease with which their internal surfaces can be decorated with high densities of strong binding sites. Beyond introducing postsynthetic modification, the specific functionalities also can be used as building units to be incorporated into porous frameworks. Our approach to fulfill this task involves the custom-design of POP-based uranium “nano-traps” via a “crystal engineering” guided design followed by stepwise post-synthetic modification. Furthermore, to increase the density of chelating groups and to enhance their affinity towards uranyl ions, judiciously designed chelating systems were constructed into porous organic polymers. Moreover, to improve the accessibility of the chelating groups and thereby the utilization efficiency, we assembled the chelating groups into highly crystalline materials where they are aligned in periodic arrays on the open channels.},
doi = {10.2172/1471108},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {8}
}