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Title: Extracting Uranium from Seawater: Promising AF Series Adsorbents

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