Selective capture of radionuclides (U, Pu, Th, Am and Co) using functional nanoporous sorbents

Wassana Yantasee, Glen E. Fryxell, Kanda Pattamakomsan, Thanapon Sangvanich, Robert J. Wiacek, Brad Busche, Raymond S. Addleman, Charles Timchalk, Worapol Ngamcherdtrakul, Natnaree Siriwon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


This work evaluated sorbent materials created from nanoporous silica self-assembled with monolayer (SAMMS) of hydroxypyridinone derivatives (1,2-HOPO, 3,2-HOPO, 3,4-HOPO), acetamide phosphonate (Ac-Phos), glycine derivatives (IDAA, DE4A, ED3A), and thiol (SH) for capturing of actinides and transition metal cobalt. In filtered seawater doped with competing metals (Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Cu, Zn, Se, Mo) at levels encountered in environmental or physiological samples, 3,4-HOPO-SAMMS was best at capturing uranium (U(VI)) from pH 2–8, Ac-Phos and 1,2-HOPO-SAMMS sorbents were best at pH < 2. 3,4-HOPO-SAMMS effectively captured thorium (Th(IV)) and plutonium (239Pu(IV)) from pH 2–8, and americium (241Am(III)) from pH 5–8. Capturing cobalt (Co(II)) from filtered river water doped with competing metals (Cu, As, Ag, Cd, Hg, Tl, and Pb) was most effective from pH 5–8 with binding affinity ranged from IDAA > DE4A > ED3A > Ac-Phos > SH on SAMMS. Iminodiacetic acid (IDAA)-SAMMS was also outstanding at capturing Co(II) in ground and seawater. Within 5 min, over 99% of U(VI) and Co(II) in seawater was captured by 3,4-HOPO-SAMMS and IDAA-SAMMS, respectively. These nanoporous materials outperformed the commercially available cation sorbents in binding affinity and adsorption rate. They have great potential for water treatment and recovery of actinides and cobalt from complex matrices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)677-683
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
StatePublished - Mar 15 2019


  • Americium (Am)
  • Cobalt (Co)
  • Plutonium (Pu)
  • Thorium (Th)
  • Uranium (U)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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