From: Dartmouth College
Published June 9, 2017 05:58 PM

New-generation material removes iodine from water

Researchers at Dartmouth College have developed a new material that scrubs iodine from water for the first time. The breakthrough could hold the key to cleaning radioactive waste in nuclear reactors and after nuclear accidents like the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

The new-generation microporous material designed at Dartmouth is the result of chemically stitching small organic molecules to form a framework that scrubs the isotope from water.

“There is simply no cost-effective way of removing radioactive iodine from water, but current methods of letting the ocean or rivers dilute the dangerous contaminant are just too risky,” said Chenfeng Ke, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at Dartmouth College. “We are not sure how efficient this process will be, but this is definitely the first step toward knowing its true potential.”

Radioactive iodine is a common byproduct of nuclear fission and is a pollutant in nuclear disasters including the recent meltdown in Japan and the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. While removing iodine in the gas phase is relatively common, iodine has never been removed from water prior to the Dartmouth research.

Continue reading at Dartmouth College

Image: Iodine is removed from an aqueous solution after the addition of HCOF-1.

Credit: Chenfeng Ke / Dartmouth College

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