Project status: In progress

As the demand for nuclear fuel continues to increase, scientists are searching for materials that can absorb radioactive pollution before it causes harm. QUT in collaboration with Nankai University, has developed a cation exchange material consisting of a layered titanate nanofibre, with an interlayer containing sodium cations. The titanate structure forms negatively charged chains in a zigzag formation, and the radioactive cations are exchanged with the sodium.

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Lead unit Science and Engineering Faculty
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Trapping - titanate structure

When the concentration of ions reaches a saturation point, the layers of this material collapse, locking the radioactive ions into the fibres. The fibres are easily removed and buried, since they are stable against radiation, chemicals and thermal change. The alumina nanofibres can be also grafted with various groups for efficiently catch insecticides, herbicides and heavy metal ions from water.

Trapping - concentration of ions


Publications and output

Dongjiang, Yang, Zhanfeng Zheng, Huaiyong Zhu, Hongwei Liu, Xueping Gao, Titanate Nanofibers as Intelligent Absorbents for Removal of Radioactive Ions from Water, Advanced Materials, 20, 2777-2781, 2008.

Dongjiang Yang, Blain Paul, Wujun Xu, Yong Yuan, Erming Liu, Xuebin Ke, Robert M. Wellard, Cheng Guo, Yao Xu, Yuhan Sun and Huaiyong Zhu, Alumina Nanofibers Grafted with Functional Groups: A New Design in Efficient Sorbents for Removal of Toxic Contaminants from Water. Water Research, 44 741-750, 2010.