A high efficient sorption of U(VI) from aqueous solution using amino-functionalized SBA-15

Yalan Liu, Jianhui Lan, Yuliang Zhao, Liyong Yuan, Zijie Li, Yali Yuan, Yixiao Feng, Zhifang Chai, Weiqun Shi

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89 Scopus citations


Uranium is one of the most hazardous heavy metal due to its long half-life radioactivity, high toxicity and mobility as aqueous uranyl ion (UO 2+ 2 ) under ordinary environmental conditions. Herein, amino functionalized SBA-15 (APSS) was developed as a rapid and efficient sorbent for removal of U(VI) from the environment. The APSS sample was synthesized by grafting method and was characterized by SEM, NMR, SAXS, and N 2 sorption/desorption isothermal experiments. The sorption of U(VI) by APSS was investigated under different conditions of pH, contact time, initial U(VI) concentration, ionic strength and solid-liquid ratio. The results show that the sorption of U(VI) by APSS is strongly dependent on pH but independent of ionic strength and solid-liquid ratios (m/V). The sorption is ultrafast with an equilibrium time of less than 30 min, and the sorption capacity is as large as 409 mg/g at pH 5.3 ± 0.1. Besides, the U(VI) sorption by APSS from extremely diluted solution and the desorption of U(VI) from APSS were also studied. It is found that 100 mg of APSS can almost completely remove the U(VI) ions from 4 L aqueous solution with the U(VI) concentration as low as 4.2 ppb and the sorbed U(VI) can be completely desorbed by 0.1 mol/L nitric acid. The results strongly reveal the high performance of the APSS material in the removal and preconcentration of U(VI) from the aqueous solution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)803-810
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2012


  • Functionalization
  • Mesoporous silica
  • Sorption
  • Uranium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Spectroscopy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Analytical Chemistry


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