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Ind Eng Chem Res. 2016 Apr 20;55(15):4179-5214. doi: 10.1021/acs.iecr.5b03401. Epub 2015 Dec 4.

Uranium removal from seawater by means of polymeric fabrics grafted with diallyl oxalate through a single-step, solvent-free process.

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Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA.
Department of Bioengineering, Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA.
National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD 20899, USA.
Department of Chemistry, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC 20064, USA.
Department of Nuclear & Radiation Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA.
Department of Physics, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana 46556, USA.
Department of Chemistry, Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA.


In order to test the effectiveness of oxalate-based polymeric adsorbents in the recovery of uranium from seawater, diallyl oxalate (DAOx) was grafted onto nylon 6 fabrics by exposing the fabric, immersed in pure liquid DAOx or in a surfactant-stabilized dispersion of DAOx in water, to electron beam or gamma radiation. Following drying and weighing to determine the degree of grafting (DoG), the presence of oxalate in the fabrics was verified using XPS. Zeta potential measurements showed the fabric surfaces to be negatively charged. The fabrics were tested by rotating them for 7 days in a rotary agitator with actual seawater spiked with 0.2 or 1.0 mg∙L-1 uranium. The fraction of uranium in the solution which was removed due to uptake on the fabrics was found to rise with increasing DoG at both uranium concentrations. EDS measurements were used to map the distribution of adsorbed uranium on the polymeric fibers.


Single-step radiation graft polymerization; acrylated oxalate; nylon; seawater; uranium extraction

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