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Grafting of arginine and glutamic acid onto cellulose for enhanced uranyl sorption

El-Bohy, Mina N., Abdel-Monem, Yasser K., Rabie, Kamal A., Farag, Nagdy M., Mahfouz, Mohamed G., Galhoum, Ahmed A., Guibal, Eric
Cellulose 2017 v.24 no.3 pp. 1427-1443
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, amino acid derivatives, arginine, biopolymers, cellulose, chlorination, desorption, endothermy, energy-dispersive X-ray analysis, equations, glutamic acid, heat production, hydrolysis, pH, scanning electron microscopy, sorbents, sorption isotherms, sulfuric acid, uranium
The grafting of arginine and glutamic acid on cellulose (through an intermediary step of chlorination) allows improving uranyl sorption of the biopolymer. The sorbents (Arg-Cell and Glu-Cell) were characterized by elemental analysis, FTIR spectrometry, XRD, SEM-EDX analysis and TGA. The sorption efficiency increases with pH; this can be attributed to the deprotonation of carboxylic acid and amine groups and to the formation of polynuclear hydrolyzed uranyl species. Sorption isotherms (fitted by the Langmuir equation) show sorption capacities at saturation of the monolayer of 147 and 168 mg U g⁻¹ for Arg-Cell and Glu-Cell, respectively (compared to 78 mg U g⁻¹ for raw cellulose); maximum sorption capacities at equilibrium (experimental values) reach 138, 160 and 73.4 for Arg-Cell, Glu-Cell and cellulose, respectively. Uranyl sorption is endothermic and is spontaneous for amino acid derivatives of cellulose (contrary to exothermic for cellulose). Uptake kinetics for the different sorbents are fitted by the pseudo-second-order rate equation. Uranium can be desorbed using sulfuric acid solutions, and the sorbents can be recycled for a minimum of five cycles of sorption/desorption: the decrease in sorption capacities at the fifth cycle does not exceed 13%.