, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 1427–1443 | Cite as

Grafting of arginine and glutamic acid onto cellulose for enhanced uranyl sorption

  • Mina N. El-Bohy
  • Yasser K. Abdel-Monem
  • Kamal A. Rabie
  • Nagdy M. Farag
  • Mohamed G. Mahfouz
  • Ahmed A. Galhoum
  • Eric Guibal
Original Paper


The grafting of arginine and glutamic acid on cellulose (through an intermediary step of chlorination) allows improving uranyl sorption of the biopolymer. The sorbents (Arg-Cell and Glu-Cell) were characterized by elemental analysis, FTIR spectrometry, XRD, SEM-EDX analysis and TGA. The sorption efficiency increases with pH; this can be attributed to the deprotonation of carboxylic acid and amine groups and to the formation of polynuclear hydrolyzed uranyl species. Sorption isotherms (fitted by the Langmuir equation) show sorption capacities at saturation of the monolayer of 147 and 168 mg U g−1 for Arg-Cell and Glu-Cell, respectively (compared to 78 mg U g−1 for raw cellulose); maximum sorption capacities at equilibrium (experimental values) reach 138, 160 and 73.4 for Arg-Cell, Glu-Cell and cellulose, respectively. Uranyl sorption is endothermic and is spontaneous for amino acid derivatives of cellulose (contrary to exothermic for cellulose). Uptake kinetics for the different sorbents are fitted by the pseudo-second-order rate equation. Uranium can be desorbed using sulfuric acid solutions, and the sorbents can be recycled for a minimum of five cycles of sorption/desorption: the decrease in sorption capacities at the fifth cycle does not exceed 13%.


Cellulose derivatives Uranyl sorption Sorption isotherms Uptake kinetics Thermodynamics Sorbent regeneration 



This work was financilally supported by the Nuclear Materials Authority, Egypt. The article is specially dedication to the memory of Prof. Dr. Ahmed Donia.

Supplementary material

10570_2017_1193_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.5 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 1554 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mina N. El-Bohy
    • 1
  • Yasser K. Abdel-Monem
    • 2
  • Kamal A. Rabie
    • 1
  • Nagdy M. Farag
    • 1
  • Mohamed G. Mahfouz
    • 1
  • Ahmed A. Galhoum
    • 1
    • 3
  • Eric Guibal
    • 3
  1. 1.Nuclear Materials AuthorityEl-Maadi, CairoEgypt
  2. 2.Chemistry Department, Faculty of ScienceMenoufia UniversityShebin El-Kom, MenoufiaEgypt
  3. 3.Ecole des mines Alès, Centre des Matériaux des Mines d’AlèsAlès CedexFrance

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