Wednesday, January 09, 2013

What to do with "hot" water

It might be a bit pricey to decontaminate this way. Still, it is interesting to find that graphene oxide seems to like to suck up some of the heavy (and often radioactive) elements, and works better than some of the standards like activated carbon.

Mix graphene oxide atom-wide sheets with water contaminated with Uranium, and it clumps in minutes: can be strained and removed.

The devil is in the details, of course. The cost is kind of interesting: $200/gram, which when you are talking about tons to clean up a big mess starts to turn into serious money. (Although there may be economies of scale eventually) And different elements are "sorped" differently at different pH: Tc is better sorped in acid (1.5!), but Sr better in neutral or basic solutions, and Uranium between 4 and 8. But it seems to work pretty well. In the lab. Even with contaminants put in to slow it down.

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