Researchers in China develop new methodology to counterpoint uranium in seawater by membrane filtration

Researchers in China develop new methodology to counterpoint uranium in seawater by membrane filtration


Researchers on the Institute of Trendy Physics (IMP) of the Chinese language Academy of Sciences (CAS) have developed an revolutionary methodology of pre-enriching uranium in seawater by membrane filtration.

Uranium is the very important supply for nuclear energy era. There are about 4.5 billion tons of uranium present in seawater—1000 occasions greater than terrestrial reserves. Nevertheless, the extraordinarily low uranium focus and large quantities of coexisting ions, particularly Ok+, Na+, Ca2+ and Mg2+, makes the extraction of uranium from seawater very difficult. Thus, it’s of nice significance to counterpoint uranium and cut back the focus distinction between uranium and the principle coexisting ions.

In a examine printed in Chemical Engineering Journal, the researchers at IMP report growing an efficient methodology to pre-enrich uranium in seawater by membrane filtration, primarily based on the distinguished hydrated ion diameter variations between UO22+ and the principle coexisting ions.

Researchers fabricated a brand new kind of glycine cross-linked composite graphene oxide (GO-Gly) membrane with good ion-sieving properties, which may meet the calls for of uranium pre-enrichment in seawater. The cross-linking of GO by glycine not solely overcomes the swelling defect of GO membrane in answer, but in addition fulfills the requirement for the channel measurement of uranium separation from the principle coexisting ions. Furthermore, the construction of the membrane can preserve secure when immersed in water answer for a very long time.

The researchers investigated the ion rejection and enrichment properties of uranium and the principle coexisting ions in single ion options and simulated seawater, respectively. They discovered that nearly 100% of uranium was rejected by the GO-Gly membrane. As well as, solely uranium was clearly enriched whereas the concentrations of the principle coexisting ions stored practically fixed in constantly filtrating the simulated seawater with the membrane.

The outcomes verify that the GO-Gly membrane is an efficient candidate for uranium pre-enrichment in seawater. This new methodology mixed with the normal strategies is anticipated to enhance the uranium restoration effectivity drastically and to advertise the true utility of uranium assets in seawater.

This work was financially supported by the Nationwide Pure Science Basis of China and West Mild Basis of CAS.


  • Jian Chu, Qinggang Huang, Yuhua Dong, Zeen Yao, Jieru Wang, Zhi Qin, Zhigang Ning, Jianjun Xie, Wei Tian, Huijun Yao, Jing Bai (2022) “Enrichment of uranium in seawater by glycine cross-linked graphene oxide membrane,”
    Chemical Engineering Journal, Quantity 444, doi: 10.1016/j.cej.2022.136602


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October 2022