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Title: Remediation of uranium-contaminated groundwater by sorption onto hydoxyapatite derived from catfish bones

item CHATTANATHANK, T - Auburn University
item CLEMENT, T - Auburn University
item KANEL, S - Air Force Institute Of Technology, Afit
item BARNETT, M - Auburn University
item Chatakondi, Nagaraj

Submitted to: Journal of Water Air and Soil Pollution
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/18/2012
Publication Date: 1/23/2013
Citation: Chattanathank, T.P., Clement, T.P., Kanel, S.R., Barnett, M.O., Chatakondi, N.G. 2013. Remediation of uranium-contaminated groundwater by sorption onto hydoxyapatite derived from catfish bones. Journal Of Water Air And Soil Pollution. 224:1429-1437.

Interpretive Summary: Development of nuclear science and technology has led to the increase of nuclear wastes containing radionuclides is a serious problem that can pose health and environmental hazard at the disposable sites. Researchers have used natural and synthetic apatites to remove uranium from contaminated water and suggested the natural apatites were effective for their prolonged contact time. The feasibility of natural apatitie obtained from the bones of farmed catfish has been evaluated to remove uranium removal efficiency from contaminated ground water. Column experiments were conducted to study the effects of particle size, pH and the flow rate on uranium removal efficiency. The results of the study suggest the feasibility of using natural hydroxyapatite derived from catfish bones as a sorbent material in permeable reactive barriers for treating contaminated ground water plumes.

Technical Abstract: Hydroxyapatite was prepared from catfish bones, called catfish hydroxyapatite (CFHA), by mechanical and chemical treatment methods and was characterized by x-ray diffraction (X-RD) and scanning electron microscope (SEM) techniques to confirm the presence of hydroxyapatite. The ability of CFHA to remove uranium from aqueous phase was investigated in batch and column experiments. All the adsorption experiments in batch were carried out as a function of pH, temperature, and particle size. The data show that the maximum adsorption occurred between pH 5.5 to 7. The adsorption of uranium on CFHA was greater at 300 0C than 100 0C. Batch data show that the smallest particles, which had the maximum surface area, exhibited significant uranium removal efficiency. Column experiments were conducted using the smallest CFHA particles at different flow rates and breakthrough profiles. The scalability of the uranium removal process was tested comparing the performance of a column with different CFHA treating uranium solution. The results indicate that both breakthrough curves followed a similar trend and the reaction will scale to the mass/concentration of the reactants (CFHA and uranium). We found that in column experiment, at pH 7, the treatment system has the potential to remove about 3.9 mg of uranium per gram of CFHA. Our study shows that CFHA may be used in permeable reactive barriers for uranium-contaminated groundwater plumes remediation.