Mechanism of uranium removal from the aqueous solution by elemental iron

Zusammenfassung

 
The effectiveness of elemental iron (Fe0) to remove uranium (U) from the aqueous phase has been demonstrated. While the mitigation effect is sure, discrepancies in the removal mechanism have been reported. The objective of this study was to investigate the mechanism of U(VI) removal from aqueous phases by Fe0. For this purpose, a systematic sequence of bulk experiments was conducted to characterize the effects of the availability and the abundance of corrosion products on U(VI) removal. Results indicated that U(VI) removal reactions did not primary occur at the surface of the metallic iron. It is determined that U(VI) co-precipitation with aging corrosion products is a plausible explanation for the irreversible fixation under experimental conditions. Results of XRD analyses did no show any U phases, whereas SEM-EDX analyses showed that U tended to associate with rusted areas on the surface of Fe0. Recovering U with different leaching solutions varied upon the dissolution capacity of the individual solutions for corrosion products, showing that the irreversibility of the removal depends on the stability of the corrosion products. U(VI) co-precipitation as removal mechanism enables a better discussion of reported discrepancies.
 
Keywords: Co-precipitation; Elemental iron; Mechanism; Removal; Uranium
 
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