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Issue 51, 2016

Rapid extraction of uranium ions from seawater using novel porous polymeric adsorbents

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Abstract

Seawater contains uranium in surprisingly high quantities that can supply vast energy, if recovered economically. Attempts to design effective sorbents led to the identification of organic functional groups such as amidoximes. Here we report a porous polymer, a polymer of intrinsic microporosity (PIM) with permanent pores that feature amidoxime pendant groups, which is capable of removing more than 90% uranyl [U(VI)] from seawater collected from the Ulleung basin of the East Sea of the Republic of Korea. From this uptake, over 75% was collected in less than six hours, leading to highly feasible field applications. When the seawater was acidified by bubbling CO2 (pH = 5.4), the uptake increased dramatically. Regeneration studies showed full recovery of sorbents and no loss in capture capacity. Our results indicate that successful uranium recovery can be realized by scalable applications of porous polymeric networks and when low cost CO2 is co-administered, uptake can be significantly enhanced.

Graphical abstract: Rapid extraction of uranium ions from seawater using novel porous polymeric adsorbents

Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
15 Mar 2016
Accepted
03 May 2016
First published
04 May 2016

RSC Adv., 2016,6, 45968-45976
Article type
Paper

Rapid extraction of uranium ions from seawater using novel porous polymeric adsorbents

Y. H. Sihn, J. Byun, H. A. Patel, W. Lee and C. T. Yavuz, RSC Adv., 2016, 6, 45968 DOI: 10.1039/C6RA06807C

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