Environmental Chemistry Letters

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 277–282 | Cite as

A novel polyacrylonitrile–zeolite nanocomposite to clean Cs and Sr from radioactive waste

  • Hossein FaghihianEmail author
  • Mozhgan Iravani
  • Mohammad Moayed
  • Mohammad Ghannadi-Maragheh
Original Paper


Radioactive wastes containing Cs+ and Sr2+ are among the most dangerous environmental pollutants. Therefore, removing Cs+ and Sr2+ from environmental media is needed. Removal can be done by nanocrystalline ion exchangers. Nanocrystalline ion exchangers are studied in depth for the treatment of nuclear wastes because these exchangers have high exchange capacity and fast kinetics. However, operating the columns of these exchangers is very difficult. This issue may be overcome by the preparation and use of nanocomposites. Here, we prepared a novel polyacrylonitrile–zeolite nanocomposite for the removal of Cs+ and Sr2+ in a fixed-bed column operation. We studied the effect of influent flow rate, nanocomposite bed height and initial concentrations. Experimental data were analysed using the Thomas model and the bed-depth service time model. The results reveal that total adsorbed ion and bed capacity increased with increasing initial ions concentration and bed height; and decreased with increasing influent flow rate. The maximum bed capacity was 0.085 meq/g for Cs+ and 0.128 meq/g for Sr2+. The critical bed height (Z 0) was 4.35 cm for Cs+ and 2.89 cm for Sr2+. These findings demonstrate that the new nanocomposite is suitable for removal of Cs+ and Sr2+.


Nanocomposite Column study Adsorption Cesium Strontium Thomas model 


  1. Abd El-Latif MM, Elkady MF (2011) Kinetics study and thermodynamic behavior for removing cesium, cobalt and nickel ions from aqueous solution using nano-zirconium vanadate ion exchanger. Desalination 271:41–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Atia AA, Donia AM, Awed HA (2008) Synthesis of magnetic chelating resins functionalized with tetraethylenepentamine for adsorption of molybdate anions from aqueous solutions. J Hazard Mater 155:100–108CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chen N, Zhang Z, Feng C, Li M, Chen R, Sugiura N (2011) Investigations on the batch and fixed-bed column performance of fluoride adsorption by Kanuma mud. Desalination 268:76–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cortes-Martinez R, Olguin MT, Solache-Rios M (2010) Cesium sorption by clinoptilolite-rich tuffs in batch and fixed-bed systems. Desalination 258:64–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dabbagh R, Ebrahimi M, Aflaki F, Ghafourian H, Sahafipour MH (2008) Biosorption of stable cesium by chemically modified biomass of Sargassum glaucescens and Cystoseira indica in a continuous flow system. J Hazard Mater 159:354–357CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Evans N, Warwick P, Lewis T, Bryan N (2011) Influence of humic acid on the sorption of uranium (IV) to kaolin. Environ Chem Lett 9:25–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Faghihian H, Kabiri-Tadi M (2010) Removal of zirconium from aqueous solution by modified clinoptilolite. J Hazard Mater 178:66–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Faghihian H, Iravani M, Moayed M, Ghannadi-Maragheh M (2012) Preparation of a novel PAN–zeolite nanocomposite for removal of Cs+ and Sr2+ from aqueous solutions: kinetic, equilibrium and thermodynamic studies. SubmittedGoogle Scholar
  9. Gurboga G, Tel H (2005) Preparation of TiO2–SiO2 mixed gel spheres for strontium adsorption. J Hazard Mater 120:135–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kaygun AK, Akyil S (2007) Study of the behavior of thorium adsorption on PAN/zeolite composite adsorbent. J Hazard Mater 147:357–362CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kundu S, Gupta AK (2006) As(III) removal from aqueous medium in fixed bed using iron oxide-coated cement (IOCC): experimental and modeling studies. Sep Purif Technol 48:288–296CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Merceille A, Weinzaepfel E, Barre Y, Grandjean A (2012) A The sorption behaviour of synthetic sodium nanotitanate and zeolite A for removing radioactive strontium from aqueous wastes. Sep Purif Technol 96:81–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Nilchi A, Saberi R, Rasouli S, Garmarodi Bagheri A (2012) Evaluation of PAN-based manganese dioxide composite for the sorptive removal of cesium-137 from aqueous solutions. Appl Radiat Isot 70:369–374CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ozdemir O, Turan M, Turan AZ, Faki A, Engin AB (2009) Feasibility analysis of color removal from textile dyeing wastewater in a fixed-bed column system by surfactant-modified zeolite (SMZ). J Hazard Mater 166:647–654CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Porro I, Newman ME, Dunnivant FM (2000) Comparison of batch and column methods for determining strontium distribution coefficients for unsaturated transport in basalt. Environ Sci Technol 34:1679–1686CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Sharma P, Tomar R (2011) Sorption behaviour of nanocrystalline MOR type zeolite for Th(IV) and Eu(III) removal from aqueous waste by batch treatment. J Colloid Interface Sci 362:144–156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Someda HH, ElZahhar AA, Shehata MK, El-Naggar HA (2002) Supporting of some ferrocyanides on polyacrylonitrile (PAN) binding polymer and their application for cesium treatment. Sep Purif Technol 29:53–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Zhang C, Gu P, Zhao J, Zhang D, Deng Y (2009) Research on the treatment of liquid waste containing cesium by an adsorption–microfiltration process with potassium zinc hexacyanoferrate. J Hazard Mater 167:1057–1062CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Zheng H, Han L, Ma H, Zheng Y, Zhang H, Liu D, Liang S (2008) Adsorption characteristics of ammonium ion by zeolite 13X. J Hazard Mater 158:577–584CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hossein Faghihian
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mozhgan Iravani
    • 1
  • Mohammad Moayed
    • 1
  • Mohammad Ghannadi-Maragheh
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of IsfahanIsfahanIran
  2. 2.Nuclear Fuel Cycle Research SchoolNuclear Science and Technology Research InstituteAmirabadIran

Personalised recommendations