Flow-electrode CDI removes the uncharged Ca-UO-CO ternary complex from brackish potable groundwater; Complex dissociation, transport, and sorption
Ma, J.*; Zhang, Y.*; Collins, R. N.*; Tsarev, S.*; 青柳 登 ; Kinsela, A. S.*; Jones, A. M.*; Waite, T. D.*
Ma, J.*; Zhang, Y.*; Collins, R. N.*; Tsarev, S.*; Aoyagi, Noboru; Kinsela, A. S.*; Jones, A. M.*; Waite, T. D.*
Unacceptably high uranium concentrations in decentralized and remote potable groundwater resources, especially those of high hardness, are a common worldwide problem. The complexation of alkali earth metals, carbonate and uranium(VI) results in the formation of thermodynamically stable ternary aqueous species that are predominantly neutrally-charged. The removal of the uncharged (non-adsorbing) complexes is a problematic issue for many water treatment technologies. As such, we have evaluated the efficacy of a recently-developed electrochemical technology, termed flow-electrode capacitive deionization (FCDI), to treat a synthetic groundwater, the composition of which is comparable to groundwater resources in the Northern Territory, Australia. Theoretical calculations and time-resolved laser fluorescence spectroscopy analyses confirmed that the complex was the primary aqueous species followed. Results under different operating conditions demonstrated that FCDI is versatile in reducing uranium concentrations to 10 g L with low electrical consumption (e.g. 0.1 kWh m). It is concluded that the capability of FCDI to remove uranium under these common conditions depends on the dissociation kinetics of the complex in the electrical field.