Plant Waste Used to Recover Waste Uranium

Waste uranium at the the Coeur d’Alene Basin Mine in Idaho

Researchers at the UK’s Birmingham University have recovered uranium from the radioactive waters of uranium mines using bacteria and inositol phosphate, a chemical parallel of a cheap waste material from plants. The same technology can also be used to clean up nuclear waste, they said.Professor Lynne Macaskie Sunday 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.

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About Rashid Faridi

I am Rashid Aziz Faridi ,Writer, Teacher and a Voracious Reader.
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