Navigation Links
Using waste to recover waste uranium
Date:9/6/2009

Using bacteria and inositol phosphate, a chemical analogue of a cheap waste material from plants, researchers at Birmingham University have recovered uranium from the polluted waters from uranium mines. The same technology can also be used to clean up nuclear waste. Professor Lynne Macaskie, this week (7-10 September), presented the group's work to the Society for General Microbiology's meeting at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.

Bacteria, in this case, E. coli, break down a source of inositol phosphate (also called phytic acid), a phosphate storage material in seeds, to free the phosphate molecules. The phosphate then binds to the uranium forming a uranium phosphate precipitate on the bacterial cells that can be harvested to recover the uranium.

This process was first described in 1995, but then a more expensive additive was used and that, combined with the then low price of uranium, made the process uneconomic. The discovery that inositol phosphate was potentially six times more effective as well as being a cheap waste material means that the process becomes economically viable, especially as the world price of uranium is likely to increase as countries move to expand their nuclear technologies in a bid to produce low-carbon energy.

As an example, if pure inositol phosphate, bought from a commercial supplier is used, the cost of this process is 1.72 per gram of uranium recovered. If a cheaper source of inositol phosphate is used (eg calcium phytate) the cost reduces to 0.09 for each gram of recovered uranium. At 2007 prices, uranium cost 0.211/g; it is currently 0.09/g. These prices make the process economic overall because there is also an environmental protection benefit. Use of low-grade inositol phosphate from agricultural wastes would bring the cost down still further and the economic benefit will also increase as the price of uranium is forecast to rise again.

"The UK has no natural uranium reserves, although a significant amount of uranium is produced in nuclear wastes. There is no global shortage of uranium but from the point of view of energy security the EU needs to be able to recover as much uranium as possible from mine run-offs (which in any case pollute the environment) as well as recycling as much uranium as possible from nuclear wastes," commented Professor Macaskie, "By using a cheap feedstock easily obtained from plant wastes we have shown that an economic, scalable process for uranium recovery is possible".


'/>"/>

Contact: Dianne Stilwell
diannestilwell@me.com
44-795-720-0214
Society for General Microbiology
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. New Sigma Advanced Genetic Engineering Labs Offers Research Community Unique Rodent Models Developed Using Exclusive Gene-Editing Technology
2. The National Center for Genome Resources Studies Childhood Diseases Using febits DNA Capture Method
3. Cellular Dynamics International In-Licenses Key Patent Portfolio for Using Stem Cell-Derived Cells in Drug Testing
4. Synthetic Genomics Inc. and ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company Sign Exclusive, Multi-Year Agreement to Develop Next Generation Biofuels Using Photosynthetic Algae
5. Harvest Technologies Announces Completion of Patient Enrollment in its 60 Patient Clinical Trial in India Using Autologous Adult Stem Cells to Treat Patients With Non-Reconstructable Critical Limb Ischemia
6. Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation to Protect Archived DNA Using Biomatricas Room Temperature Storage
7. First step to converting solar energy using artificial leaf
8. Providence Health & Services Increases Revenue by $35 Million Using Concuity ClearContracts
9. Doctors in New Hampshire Now Treating Cancer with Non-Invasive Image-Guided Radiosurgery Using Novalis Tx(TM) Technology
10. CEL-SCI Developing Immune-Based Treatment Against Swine and Other H1N1 Flu Viruses Using Proprietary L.E.A.P.S. Technology
11. EClips Energy Technologies, Inc. To Develop New Sterile Air Product Using PATI Technology
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ClinCapture, the only ... Center and will showcase its product’s latest features from June 26 to June ... scientific poster on Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud during the conference. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... of intelligent tools designed, tuned and optimized exclusively for Okuma CNC machining centers ... The result of a collaboration among several companies with expertise in toolholding, cutting ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 ReportsnReports.com ... report to its pharmaceuticals section with historic and ... and much more. Complete report on ... pages, profiling 15 companies and supported with 261 ... http://www.reportsnreports.com/reports/601420-global-cell-culture-media-industry-2016-market-research-report.html . The Global Cell ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Biomarkers: ... The global biomarkers market has grown ... market is expected to grow at a five-year compound annual growth ... billion in 2015 to $96.6 billion in 2020. ... 2020) are discussed. As well, new products approved in 2013 and ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:6/7/2016)... , June 7, 2016  Syngrafii Inc. ... a business relationship that includes integrating Syngrafii,s patented ... branch project. This collaboration will result in greater ... the credit union, while maintaining existing document workflow ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160606/375871LOGO ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... --  The Weather Company , an IBM Business (NYSE: ... in which consumers will be able to interact with IBM ... voice or text and receive relevant information about the product ... have long sought an advertising solution that can create a ... and valuable; and can scale across millions of interactions and ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... , May 24, 2016 Ampronix facilitates superior patient care by providing ...  3D medical LCD display is the latest premium product recently added to the range ... ... ... Sony 3d Imaging- LCD Medical Display- Ampronix News ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):