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Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Authors: Debasish Das, M. Sureshkumar, Siddhartha Koley, Nidhi Mithal, and C. Pillai


Magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticle was synthesized using a solid state mechanochemical method and used for studying the sorption of uranium(VI) from aqueous solution onto the nanomaterial. The synthesized product is characterized using SEM, XRD and XPS. The particles were found to be largely agglomerated. XPS analysis showed that Fe(II)/Fe(III) ratio of the product is 0.58. Sorption of uranium on the synthesized nanomaterials was studied as a function of various operational parameters such as pH, initial metal ion concentration, ionic strength and contact time. pH studies showed that uranium sorption on magnetite is maximum in neutral solution. Uranium sorption onto magnetite showed two step kinetics, an initial fast sorption completing in 4–6 h followed by a slow uptake extending to several days. XPS analysis of the nanoparticle after sorption of uranium showed presence of the reduced species U(IV) on the nanoparticle surface. Fe(II)/Fe(III) ratio of the nanoparticle after uranium sorption was found to be 0.48, lower than the initial value indicating that some of the ferrous ion might be oxidized in the presence of uranium(VI). Uranium sorption studies were also conducted with effluent from ammonium diuranate precipitation process having a uranium concentration of about 4 ppm. 42% removal was observed during 6 h of equilibration.

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