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Spectroscopic Studies on the Binding of Uranium by Brown Coal

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Brown coal removes uranium from sea water where it is present mainly as [UO2(CO3)3]4−. The adsorption and binding of uranium is studied by infrared spectroscopy. The spectra of the coal-uranium adducts still exhibit the asymmetric stretching vibration of the uranyl ion, but no CO3 2− frequencies, suggesting that uranium is retained as UO2 2+. The coal humic acids are shown to be responsible for the decomposition of the carbonato complex. The subsequent uptake of uranium is not a pure cation exchange process since the shift of the asymmetric uranyl stretching frequency from 950 cm−1 (hydrated UO2 2+) to 890 cm−1 points to complexation of UO2 2+ by carboxylate groups which act as bidentate ligands.

Keywords: Brown coal; Humic acids; Infrared spectroscopy; Sea water; Uranyl compounds

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Institute of Chemistry, Institute 4 Applied Physical Chemistry, Nuclear Research Centre (KFA), Juelich, Federal Republic of Germany

Publication date: September 1, 1978

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