Amidoxime-based adsorbents prepared by cografting acrylic acid with acrylonitrile onto HDPE fiber for the recovery of uranium from seawater


An amidoxime-based polymeric adsorbent was prepared by pre-irradiation grafting of acrylonitrile and acrylic acid onto high-density polyethylene fibers using electron beams, followed by amidoximation. Quantitative recovery of uranium was investigated by flow-through experiment using simulated seawater and marine test in natural seawater. The maximum amount of uranium uptake was 2.51 mg/g-ads after 42 days of contact with simulated seawater and 0.13 mg/g-ads for 15 days of contact with natural seawater. A lower uranium uptake in marine test can be attributed to the short adsorption time and the contamination of marine microorganisms and iron. However, the high selectivity toward uranium against vanadium may be beneficial to harvest uranyl ion onto adsorbents and the economic feasibility for recovery of uranium from seawater.

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Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Jing-Ye Li or Guo-Zhong Wu.

Additional information

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 21676291, 21306220, 11275252, 11305243 and 11405249). The research was also in part supported by the “Knowledge Innovation Program of Chinese academy of sciences”.

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Xu, L., Hu, JT., Ma, HJ. et al. Amidoxime-based adsorbents prepared by cografting acrylic acid with acrylonitrile onto HDPE fiber for the recovery of uranium from seawater. NUCL SCI TECH 28, 45 (2017).

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  • Radiation-induced grafting
  • Amidoxime
  • Acrylonitrile
  • Uranium
  • Selectivity