Experimental Investigation of Uranium Biosorption Using Brown Algae Padina sp. in a Continuous System Abstract

Document Type : Research Article


Academic Staff, Materials and Nuclear Fuels Research School, Nuclear Science and Technology Research Institute (NSTRI)


Considering the environmental hazards of uranium, implementing a suitable and effective method to remove this chemical poisonous and radioactive heavy metal from the aqueous solutions is very important. In this study, the biosorption of uranium using the marine brown algae, Padina sp., was investigated in a continuous system. The column was a glass tube with an inside diameter of 1 cm and 20 cm in length. The effect of various operating parameters such as initial solution concentration, bed height and feed flow rate was investigated. According to the results, the breakthrough and the saturation points occurred at 1.5 and 20 hours, respectively and the amount of the absorption capacity was 372 mg/g at the operating conditions, i.e., flow rate of 5 mL/min, bed height of 8 cm and solution initial concentration of 150 mg/L. The experimental results have been fitted with the Thomas and BDST models and the models results showed good agreement with the empirical data. The parameters of Thomas model, kTH and qm were 0.00208 L/hr.mg and 449 mg/g, respectively and 0.00208 L/hr.mg and 72.42 mg/cm3 for Ka and N0, the parameters of BDST model, respectively. Sorption-desorption studies were carried out for three sequential cycles. The results indicated that Padina sp. has the ability to uptake uranium with high sorption capacity in a continuous system and has the possibility for regeneration and reuse.


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