scientist from CSMCRI successfully extracts uranium from seawater, acidic effluents | Rajkot News

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Rajkot: Globally, nuclear power is seen as the future of clean energy. However, since the main source of nuclear energy – uranium – is limited, scientists around the world are working on efficient ways to extract the heavy metal from secondary sources.
In a groundbreaking development, Bhavnagar-based Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSMCRI) scientist Shilpi Kushwaha developed a method to extract uranium from secondary sources such as seawater and acidic effluents using thin crystalline films and polymer nanorings.
Khuswaha was awarded the Young Scientist Award (YSA) for his innovative research by the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) at a ceremony held in New Delhi on Sunday. It was rewarded by Vice-President M Venkaiha Naidu, in the Earth, Atmosphere, Ocean and Planetary Sciences category.
According to Kushwaha, India needs a sustainable option for clean energy to keep up with the Paris agreement on climate change. “The demand for energy is increasing day by day. In the near future, the demand for nuclear power in the world is expected to increase, as it is carbon neutral. However, uranium reserves are limited and it is estimated that they would be exhausted in more than 100 years, ”she said.
Here, uranium recovery from secondary sources such as contaminated groundwater, mining effluents and seawater comes into play.
“Uranium extraction from seawater (UES) is one of seven chemical separation processes where progress would lead to global gains. The SEU offers additional benefits for the energy security of any country. It is independent of terrestrial uranium ore, which reduces the risk of environmental damage from onshore mining, ”Khuswaha told TOI. She added that the heavy metal extracted from seawater is on par with similar experiments being carried out around the world.
Developing further, the scientist said secondary sources of uranium include mine spills, nuclear power plant effluent or fly ash dumps that enter water sources after mixing with water from rain and end up in the sea.
“We were able to extract uranium from acidic effluents as well as seawater. In the future, we will try to make it profitable after improvisation so that uranium can be mined on a larger scale and be commercially available. viable, ”she said.
CSMCRI Director Kannan Srinivasan said: “This kind of groundbreaking research is needed for the country’s transition to the sustainable development of carbon neutral energy and clean water resources.

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