Novel vanadosilicate is potential decontamination agent for cesium-tainted water
The Fukushima reactor disaster has been the most recent incident to introduce the public to the concept of “cesium 137”. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, Korean researchers have now introduced a new vanadosilicate that can remove cesium from contaminated coolant water, liquid nuclear waste, and contaminated ground- and seawater more effectively than conventional sorbents.
Cs-137 is among the most dangerous radioactive nuclides. It has a half-life of 30 years, so contaminated areas remain polluted for a long time. The high solubility of cesium salts in water facilitates its dispersal in the environment and its uptake by plants. If humans ingest this contaminated food, the body cannot differentiate the cesium from potassium, so the toxin is stored in muscle tissue. Larger amounts can cause severe radiation sickness; smaller amounts can cause diseases like cancer.
The removal of Cs-137 from contaminated ground- and seawater, as well as liquid nuclear waste from reprocessing and nuclear energy plants is correspondingly critical for public health. The problem is the very high relative concentrations of competing cations like sodium, calcium, magnesium, and potassium ions—which make necessary a highly effective and selective cesium trap. A wide variety of inorganic materials have been developed, although there has been no substantial progress in the last 20 years. To date, titanosilicates have worked best, and these were put into use after the Fukushima reactor disaster.
Kyung Byung Yoon and a team from Sogang University in Seoul, South Korea have now developed a new material named as “Sogang University-45” (or SGU-45 for short) that very effectively binds and immobilizes cesium from groundwater, seawater, and liquid nuclear waste. Under the test conditions used, in concentrations of 10 ppb to 100 ppm, SGU-45 was shown to be superior to all previous materials with regard to selectivity, capacity, and rate of absorption. Strikingly, unlike other materials, the selectivity of K-SGU-4, the variant loaded with potassium ions, to cesium increases as the cesium concentration decreases.
SGU-45 is a special, microporous vanadosilicate with vanadium ions in the 4+ and 5+ oxidation states. K-SGU-45 was best suited for the removal of cesium from contaminated groundwater and seawater, as well as strongly acidic or basic nuclear waste. The cesium ions absorbed replace the potassium ions in K-SGU-45. The framework of SGU-45 already carries non-exchangeable cesium ions which are 16-coordinate, meaning that they have 16 neighboring atoms bonded to cesium. This observation is of academic interest because this is the highest coordination number (the number of nearest neighbors in a crystal lattice or complex) yet observed in chemistry.
About the Author
Dr. Kyung Byung Yoon is Professor of Chemistry at Sogang University, Seoul, Korea. He is also the Director of the Korea Center for Artificial Photosynthesis. He has been working in the area of zeolite research for the last 30 years. He is the recipient of the Korea Science Award and the Academic Award from the National Academy of Science, Korea.
Author: Kyung Byung Yoon, Sogang University, Seoul (Rep. Korea), http://hompi.sogang.ac.kr/zeolite/eyoon.htm
Title: A Novel Vanadosilicate with Hexadeca-Coordinated Cs+ Ions as a Highly Effective Cs+ Remover
Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Permalink to the article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.201402778
Dr. Kyung Byung Yoon | Angewandte Chemie
Fish recognize their prey by electric colors
13.11.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
The dawn of a new era for genebanks - molecular characterisation of an entire genebank collection
13.11.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly
The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
13.11.2018 | Life Sciences
13.11.2018 | Life Sciences
13.11.2018 | Awards Funding