Uranium adsorption by non-treated and chemically modified cactus fibres in aqueous solutions
SourceJournal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
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The adsorption efficiency of Opuntia ficus indica fibres regarding the removal of hexavalent uranium [U(VI)] from aqueous solutions has been investigated prior and after the chemical treatment (e.g. phosphorylation and MnO2-coating) of the biomass. The separation/removal efficiency has been studied as a function of pH, uranium concentration, adsorbent mass, ionic strength, temperature and contact time. Evaluation of the experimental data shows that biosorption is strongly pH-depended and that the MnO 2-coated product presents the highest adsorption capacity followed by the phosphorylated and non-treated material. Experiments with varying ionic strength/salinity don't show any significant effect on the adsorption efficiency, indicating the formation of inner-sphere surface complexes. The adsorption reactions are in all cases exothermic and relatively fast, particularly regarding the adsorption on the MnO2-coated product. The results of the present study indicate that adsorption of uranium from waters is very effective by cactus fibres and particularly the modified treated fibres. The increased adsorption efficiency of the cactus fibres is attributed to their primary and secondary fibrillar structure, which result in a relative relative high specific surface available for sorption. © 2013 Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary.
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