Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry

, Volume 289, Issue 3, pp 781–788 | Cite as

Sorption of uranium(VI) on Na-attapulgite as a function of contact time, solid content, pH, ionic strength, temperature and humic acid

  • Wubiao Zhu
  • Zhengjie Liu
  • Lei Chen
  • Yunhui Dong


Sorption of U(VI) from aqueous solution to Na-attapulgite was investigated at different experimental chemistry conditions by using batch technique. The attapulgite sample was characterized by FTIR and XRD. Sorption of U(VI) on attapulgite was strongly dependent on pH and ionic strength. The sorption of U(VI) on attapulgite increased quickly with rising pH at pH < 6, and decreased with increasing pH at pH > 7. The presence of humic acid (HA) enhanced the sorption of U(VI) on attapulgite obviously at low pH because of the strong complexation of surface adsorbed HA with U(VI) on attapulgite surface. Sorption of U(VI) on attapulgite was mainly dominated by ion exchange and/or outer-sphere surface complexation at low pH values, whereas the sorption was attributed to the inner-sphere surface complexation or precipitation at high pH values. The sorption increased with increasing temperature and the thermodynamic parameters calculated from the temperature dependent sorption isotherms suggested that the sorption of U(VI) on attapulgite was a spontaneous and endothermic process. The results indicate that attapulgite is a very suitable material for the preconcentration of U(VI) ions from large volumes of aqueous solutions.


Attapulgite U(VI) Sorption pH Ionic strength Temperature 


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wubiao Zhu
    • 1
  • Zhengjie Liu
    • 2
  • Lei Chen
    • 2
  • Yunhui Dong
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Industry AnalysisCollege of Zhongshan PolytechnicZhongshanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of Chemical Engineering, Shandong University of TechnologyZiboPeople’s Republic of China

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