SOHIO process legacy waste treatment: Uranium recovery using ion exchange

Richard I. Foster*, James T.M. Amphlett, Kwang Wook Kim, Tim Kerry, Keunyoung Lee, Clint A. Sharrad

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    29 Citations (Scopus)


    The feasibility of employing ion-exchange resins for the selective removal of uranium from a complex waste effluent has been investigated. The source of the effluent is a treatment process to reduce the volume of a spent uranium containing catalyst prior to its immobilisation and disposal in South Korea. Commercial anion exchange and chelation resins have been screened, along with an in-house synthesized polyamine functionalized resin. The Langmuir isotherm model produced the best fit for UO2 2+ binding to all resins, with Purolite MTS957, a mixed sulfonic/phosphonic acid functionalised resin, showing the highest equilibrium adsorption capacity for UO2 2+, 96.15 mg g−1. The Modified Dose-Response Model was found to adequately represent breakthrough across all flow rates used and for all resins tested under dynamic testing conditions. The maximum uranium loading capacities under dynamic conditions for simulant and real wastes were established as 131.52 mg g−1 and 68.62 mg g−1, respectively. Purolite MTS957 effectively decontaminated the real effluent to uranium levels below the Korean release limit of 1 mg L−1. Over 99.9% uranium was successfully eluted from the resin bed in under 20 BV with a mixed sodium carbonate/sulfate eluent.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)144-152
    JournalJournal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


    • Effluent treatment
    • Ion exchange
    • SOHIO process
    • Uranium
    • Waste catalyst


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