Phosphorylated cellulose nanofibers exhibit exceptional capacity for uranium capture

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Researchers

Research units

  • Indian Institute of Technology, Madras
  • Betulium Ltd.
  • University of British Columbia

Abstract

We investigate the adsorption of hexavalent uranium, U(VI), on phosphorylated cellulose nanofibers (PHO-CNF) and compare the results with those for native and TEMPO-oxidized nanocelluloses. Batch adsorption experiments in aqueous media show that PHO-CNF is highly efficient in removing U(VI) in the pH range between 3 and 6. Gelling of nanofiber hydrogels is observed at U(VI) concentration of 500 mg/L. Structural changes in the nanofiber network (scanning and transmission electron microscopies) and the surface chemical composition (X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy) gave insights on the mechanism of adsorption. The results from batch adsorption experiments are fitted to Langmuir, Freundlich, and Sips isotherm models, which indicate a maximum adsorption capacity of 1550 mg/g, the highest value reported so far for any bioadsorbent. Compared to other metals (Zn, Mn, and Cu) and typical ions present in natural aqueous matrices the phosphorylated nanofibers are shown to be remarkably selective to U(VI). The results suggest a solution for the capture of uranium, which is of interest given its health and toxic impacts when present in aqueous matrices.

Details

Original languageEnglish
JournalCellulose
Early online date1 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Adsorption, Cellulose nanofibers, Heavy metal, Phosphorylated, U(VI), Uranium

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ID: 40888670