They discover how to extract uranium from seawater

The oceans contain a reserve of uranium that exceeds the amount present on land by more than 250 times. Despite this abundance, extracting uranium from seawater has historically been a considerable challenge. However, a significant change is on the horizon, since Chinese scientists discovered a way to extract uranium from seawater.

They extract uranium from sea water

In the near future, uranium consumption will increase as it is a sustainable energy source

The International Energy Agency's forecasts suggest an 18% increase in global energy consumption by 2030. They also predict 39% by 2050. Nuclear energy emerges as a valuable component in this scenario, highlighting the strategic importance of uranium .

Efficient management and adequate supply of uranium are essential due to the development of new reactors and the retirement of existing ones. Ensuring a sustainable energy supply is imperative for the coming decades, where nuclear power will play a fundamental role.

In this context, constant technological advancement and the transition towards cleaner energy sources make long-term planning essential. Anticipating growing demand and guaranteeing a sustainable supply of uranium are relevant. Thus supporting the continued development of nuclear energy.

Uranium is present in seawater

A recent study, led by Rui Zhao of Northeast Normal University and published in ACS Central Science, proposes an innovative solution. Recover uranium ions from seawater and convert them into a sustainable source of nuclear energy.

They developed a specialized material for electrochemical extraction. With it, the team achieved higher efficiency in capturing uranium ions compared to other tests. This technology opens the door to the more sustainable use of marine resources.

They develop material to extract uranium from seawater
They develop material to extract uranium from seawater – Image from El Periódico de la Energía

Thus, the possibilities of energy generation are expanded while respecting the environment. The research promotes the idea of ​​responsibly using marine resources to contribute to the development of more sustainable nuclear energy.

They discover how to extract the uranium present in the oceans

The team was led by Rui Zhao and Guangshan Zhu. He worked with scientists at Northeast Normal University in China. They published the results in the renowned scientific journal ACS Central Science.

The research focus was on creating an electrode material with a unique structure, full of microscopic recesses, ideal for the electrochemical capture of uranium ions present in seawater.

Using a flexible fabric base woven from carbon fibers, the researchers applied a special coating to generate a porous structure capable of efficiently trapping uranium ions.

In experiments, this coated fabric accumulated uranium, evidenced by a distinctive bright yellow color. They managed to extract 12.6 milligrams of uranium per gram of water in just 24 days. The new method turned out to be much faster than previous tests.

This innovative approach not only provides an effective solution for capturing uranium from seawater, but could also represent a way to use the oceans as a source of nuclear fuel. It is a significant advance in terms of sustainability and energy supply for future generations.

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