Uranium And Its Decay Products Essay

1139 Words Nov 23rd, 2014 5 Pages
Uranium and its decay products can be found in the environment through a wide array of anthropogenic activities such as mining, nuclear and power generation industries and the production of phosphate fertilizers .(Sprynskyy et al. 2011) They pose a severe, long term ecological and public health threat (Khani 2011, Landa 2003) and therefore there is a considerable effort in the removal of these pollutants before their final discharge in the environment, as well as their recovery as an energy resource (Pang et al. 2011). For this purpose, common physico-chemical techniques (e.g. electrochemical treatment, ion-exchange, reverse osmosis, precipitation etc.) have been practiced for decades. But these techniques exhibit serious drawbacks such as high operational cost, generation of toxic metallic sludge in the case of non-selective precipitation and low efficiency in low concentrations like in the case of ion exchange and reverse osmosis. However biotechnological approaches, and more specifically biosoprtion can cover those niches due to lower cost, higher efficiency, biosorbent regeneration and metal recovery (Khani et al. 2012). The term biosorption refers to the accumulation of metal ions by materials of biological origin, and consists of two steps: contact of the biomass with the metal contaminated wastewater, and separation of the metal-loaded biosorbent from the metal-depleted effluent .(Ahmad et al. 2004).
Biosorbents have proven capability to take up heavy metals from…

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