New Mexico Geological Society Annual Spring Meeting
April 13, 2018
[view as PDF]
New Inorganic-Organic Carbon-Based Hybrid Material for Selective Uranium Capture
Chase Kicker1, Liliya Frolova and Snezna Rogelj
Uranium contamination in drinking water is a major health concern in some parts of the United States, including New Mexico, and many other parts of the world. To minimize health risks from uranium contamination in drinking water, an efficient uranium filtration method is highly desired. Based on our experience of organic modification of carbon surfaces, we made an organic modification of commercial graphite particles for selective uranium adsorption from natural water sources. The material is high-cost effective and very chemically stable. The modified graphite shows high selectivity toward uranium even in the presence of competing cations such as calcium and magnesium. It further demonstrates that uranium adsorption is not hindered by the presence of many other cations or by a change in the pH of the natural water samples. To reuse the water filter, it is important to release all of the adsorbed uranium yet maintain the full functionality of the adsorbent. We have shown that a simple acidic or basic wash of our filter is sufficient to remove all of the bound uranium; this fully regenerates the filter. In fact, our material remains stable and fully functional after several washing cycles. Finally, thus collected uranium can be easily be extracted for further use in industry as an alternative to uranium mining. Current work is being done to scale up the filtration process.
2018 New Mexico Geological Society Annual Spring Meeting
April 13, 2018, Macey Center, New Mexico Tech campus, Socorro, NM