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Issue 20, 2016
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Elution by Le Chatelier's principle for maximum recyclability of adsorbents: applied to polyacrylamidoxime adsorbents for extraction of uranium from seawater

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Abstract

Amidoxime-based polymer adsorbents have attracted interest within the last decade due to their high adsorption capacities for uranium and other rare earth metals from seawater. The ocean contains an approximated 4–5 billion tons of uranium and even though amidoxime-based adsorbents have demonstrated the highest uranium adsorption capacities to date, they are still economically impractical because of their limited recyclability. Typically, the adsorbed metals are eluted with a dilute acid solution that not only damages the amidoxime groups (metal adsorption sites), but is also not strong enough to remove the strongly bound vanadium, which decreases the adsorption capacity with each cycle. We resolved this challenge by incorporating Le Chatelier's principle to recycle adsorbents indefinitely. We used a solution with a high concentration of amidoxime-like chelating agents, such as hydroxylamine, to desorb nearly a 100% of adsorbed metals, including vanadium, without damaging the metal adsorption sites and preserving the high adsorption capacity. The method takes advantage of knowing the binding mode between the amidoxime ligand and the metal and mimics it with chelating agents that then in a Le Chatelier's manner removes metals by shifting to a new chemical equilibrium. For this reason the method is applicable to any ligand–metal adsorbent and it will make an impact on other extraction technologies.

Graphical abstract: Elution by Le Chatelier's principle for maximum recyclability of adsorbents: applied to polyacrylamidoxime adsorbents for extraction of uranium from seawater

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Publication details

The article was received on 25 Jan 2016, accepted on 11 Apr 2016 and first published on 11 Apr 2016


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C6DT00347H
Citation: Dalton Trans., 2016,45, 8532-8540
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    Elution by Le Chatelier's principle for maximum recyclability of adsorbents: applied to polyacrylamidoxime adsorbents for extraction of uranium from seawater

    Y. Oyola, S. Vukovic and S. Dai, Dalton Trans., 2016, 45, 8532
    DOI: 10.1039/C6DT00347H

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