Silane coupling and mordanting as attachment techniques for pyridylazo and thiazolylazo ligands in the synthesis of adsorbents for uranium in seawater

  • Grace M Pooley, Mohammad A Adel-Hadadi, Weixing Li, Travis C Dietz, Aaron Barkatt
  • Adsorption Science & Technology, January 2018, SAGE Publications
  • DOI: 10.1177/0263617418755170

Novel adsorbents for uranium from seawater

What is it about?

Since the amount of uranium that can be recovered by mining is limited, extraction of uranium from seawater has been extensive studied in recent decades. However, the adsorbents described so far have many limitations, including the use of complicated and expensive irradiation techniques to produce them and the need to use alkalis to activate them, causing degradation of the adsorbents. We found that certain azo dyes, which can be attached to glass fibers or cellulose fibers using simple chemical processes, exhibit high capacity and high selectivity in removing uranium from seawater.

Why is it important?

Known uranium reserves only suffice to supply the needs of the nuclear industry for another 100-200 years, and mining uranium generates large amounts of radioactive mining and processing wastes. The development of methods that can be used for extracting uranium from seawater can provide the nuclear industry, which is one of the only industries that produce large amounts of electricity while minimizing emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and of toxic vapors and particles containing lead, mercury, and carcinogenic organic compounds.


Aaron Barkatt
The Catholic University of America

It has been a great privilege to work with a group of talented and dedicated co-authors, who successfully addressed difficult challenges requiring innovative solutions under very difficult conditions of vanishing funding and failing equipment. We hope our work may assist efforts to develop sources of clean energy.

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