Preparation of amidoxime-based PE/PP fibers for extraction of uranium from aqueous solution

  • Xiao Xu
  • Xiao-Jun Ding
  • Jun-Xuan Ao
  • Rong Li
  • Zhe Xing
  • Xi-Yan Liu
  • Xiao-Jing Guo
  • Guo-Zhong Wu
  • Hong-Juan MaEmail author
  • Xiao-Yan ZhaoEmail author


A novel amidoxime-based fibrous adsorbent, denoted as PE/PP-g-(PAAc-co-PAO), was prepared by pre-irradiation grafting of acrylic acid and acrylonitrile onto polyethylene-coated polypropylene skin–core (PE/PP) fibers using 60Co γ-ray irradiation, followed by amidoximation. The original and modified PE/PP fibers were characterized by a series of characterization methods to demonstrate the attachment of amidoxime groups onto the PE/PP fibers. Breaking strength tests confirmed that the fibrous adsorbent could maintain good mechanical properties. The adsorption capacity of the PE/PP-g-(PAAc-co-PAO) fibers was investigated in simulated seawater with an initial uranium concentration of 330 μg/L. The uranium adsorption capacity was 2.27 mg/g-adsorbent after 24 h in simulated seawater, and the equilibrium data were well described by the Freundlich isotherm model. The PE/PP-g-(PAAc-co-PAO) adsorbent exhibited good regeneration and recyclability during five adsorption–desorption cycles. The adsorption test was also performed in simulated radioactive effluents with uranium concentrations of 10 and 100 μg/L. The effect of the pH value on the adsorption capacity was also studied. At a very low initial concentration 10 μg/L solution, the PE/PP-g-(PAAc-co-PAO) fiber could remove as much as 93.0% of the uranium, and up to 71.2% of the uranium in the simulated radioactive effluent. These results indicated that the PE/PP-g-(PAAc-co-PAO) adsorbent could be used in radioactive effluents over a wide range of pH values. Therefore, the PE/PP-g-(PAAc-co-PAO) fibers, with their high uranium selectivity, good regeneration and recyclability, good mechanical properties, and low cost, are promising adsorbents for extracting uranium from aqueous solutions.


Amidoxime groups Pre-irradiation PE-coated PP skin–core fiber Adsorption Uranium 


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Copyright information

© China Science Publishing & Media Ltd. (Science Press), Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chinese Nuclear Society and Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiao Xu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xiao-Jun Ding
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jun-Xuan Ao
    • 2
    • 3
  • Rong Li
    • 2
  • Zhe Xing
    • 2
  • Xi-Yan Liu
    • 2
  • Xiao-Jing Guo
    • 2
  • Guo-Zhong Wu
    • 2
  • Hong-Juan Ma
    • 2
    Email author
  • Xiao-Yan Zhao
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Petrochemical EngineeringChangzhou UniversityChangzhouChina
  2. 2.Shanghai Institute of Applied PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesShanghaiChina
  3. 3.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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