Uranium from the ocean is suggested to be extracted by knitted things

Take a little acrylic yarn, soak the adsorbent and lower it into the ocean. After a while, it will be possible to literally squeeze uranium out of this yarn, or rather, oxide-oxide U308, from which fuel for nuclear reactors is made.

The scheme is very simple, and so far the difficulty is only with the selection of the adsorbent. A suitable substance was found by researchers from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington State.

Uranium in the ocean a lot – 500 times more than gold in the earth’s crust, according to the World Nuclear Association. The concentration of uranium-containing ions in sea water is low – about 3 mg per cubic meter, but the ocean is large – 1.37 billion cubic kilometers of water, which is 4.5 billion tons of uranium; This amount will be enough for six and a half thousand years to meet the needs of mankind for nuclear fuel (provided that the amount of energy that we receive from nuclear power plants will not change).

The scientists told about the discovery of a new adsorbent last week; Under the criteria of cheapness and the ability to bind uranyl ions, an organic polymer came up. Scientists soaked the yarn in a solution of this polymer and lowered it into a pool with sea water and imitation of a weak current. For a month, scientists collected from a kilogram of yarn-treated yarn five grams of oxide-oxide U308. In addition, the researchers were convinced that the adsorbent is safe for the inhabitants of the ocean. And they also found out whether the decrease in uranium concentration in water would damage the marine ecosystem – it turned out that it would not hurt (an article about this was published in 2016).

The basis for “uranium seine” can serve even yarn second-hand – that is, literally, old woolen things. In addition, “seines” are not disposable – uranium can be isolated from the polymer and use the network again. If the development is commercially available, your grandmother will be able to tie a “net” for uranium mining, which will go to fuel for nuclear reactors.