Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Peter Burns
Intercalation of Uranyl Peroxide Nanoclusters into Synthetic Layered Double Hydroxide Clays
The scope of this work will involve several phases of laboratory scale reactions of gram and microgram quantities of synthetic forms of the anionic clays based on the mineral hydrotalcite. The hydrotalcites are commonly referred to as the layered double hydroxides (LDHs) owing to their sheet structures. Parts per million (ppm) concentrations of select species of uranium based polyoxometalates, referred to as uranyl peroxide nanoclusters for their interaction between the uranyl ion and peroxide, will be reacted with these clays. The first phase will focus on developing the optimal combination of LDH-type and uranyl peroxide nanocluster species for maximum U removal from an aqueous solution. The second phase of research will involve adding ppm concentrations of non-radioactive isotopes of fission products (FPs) into the reactions of the LDHs and uranyl peroxide nanoclusters and tracking the concentration trends of the FPs during these interactions. The next phase will involve introducing simulated seawater into the reactions, to have a laboratory scale experiment replicating similar conditions to the Fukushima Daiichi disaster.