Iranian scientists refine wastewater of nuclear power plants using nanoparticles

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian researchers from Zabol University designed and produced a type of sorbent nanoparticles to extract small amounts of uranium from wastewater.

The nano-sorbent is able to detect low concentrations of uranium in the outlet stream of nuclear power plants, and it can extract more than 94.5% of uranium from different media.

Uranium is found at low concentrations in aqueous and non-aqueous outlet streams of nuclear reactors. However, low concentrations of this material can be harmful too. Therefore, the outlet streams should be refined so the least possible amount of uranium is released to the environment.

The researchers used zinc oxide/chitosan nano-sorbents to extract low concentrations of uranium from aqueous media. They also carried out the modeling process by using artificial neural network.

Zinc oxide nanoparticles can be used as an effective nano-sorbent due to their semi-conductive properties. These nanoparticles can be used with chitosan in form of hybrid to increase their desirable properties.

This research studies and compares detection limit and concentration factor with some other methods, including liquid-liquid distributing micro-extraction, solid phase of silica-gel and the polymer used for uranium extraction. Results showed that this method has a concentration factor much higher than that of other methods, and it also has appropriate detection limit.

According to the researchers, results also showed that the concentration factor is 125 for this method, while it has been reported 11, 50, and 108 for liquid-liquid distribution micro-extraction, solid phase of silica-gel and polymeric solid phase, respectively.

Results of the research have been published in Chemometrics and Intelligent Laboratory Systems, vol. 135, 2014, pp. 70-75.

By Fars News Agency

 

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