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Water-soluble metal-binding polymers with ultrafiltration: A technology for the removal, concentration, and recovery of metal ions from aqueous streams

Description: The use of water-soluble metal-binding polymers coupled with ultrafiltration (UF) is a technology under development to selectively concentrate and recover valuable or regulated metal-ions from dilute process or waste waters. The polymers have a sufficiently large molecular size that they can be separated and concentrated using commercially available UF technology. The polymers can then be reused by changing the solution conditions to release the metal-ions, which are recovered in a concentrated form for recycle or disposal. Pilot-scale demonstrations have been completed for a variety of waste streams containing low concentrations of metal ions including electroplating wastes (zinc and nickel) and nuclear waste streams (plutonium and americium). Many other potential commercial applications exist including remediation of contaminated solids. An overview of both the pilot-scale demonstrated applications and small scale testing of this technology are presented.
Date: December 31, 1997
Creator: Smith, B.F.; Robison, T.W. & Jarvinen, G.D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Polymer filtration systems for dilute metal ion recovery

Description: Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory have developed a metal recovery system that meets the global treatment demands for all kinds of industrial and metal-processing streams. The Polymer Filtration (PF) System--a process that is easily operated and robust--offers metal-finishing businesses a convenient and inexpensive way to recover and recycle metal ions in-house, thus reducing materials costs, waste removal costs, and industrial liability. As a valuable economic and environmental asset, the PF System has been named a winner of a 1995 R and D 100 Award. These awards are presented annually by R and D Magazine to the one hundred most significant technical innovations of the year. The PF System is based on the use of water-soluble metal-binding polymers and on advanced ultrafiltration membranes. Customers for this technology will receive new soluble polymers, especially formulated for their waste stream, and the complete PF processing unit: a reaction reservoir, pumps, plumbing, controls, and the advanced ultrafiltration membranes, all in a skid mounted frame. Metal-bearing waste water is treated in the reaction reservoir, where the polymer binds with the metal ions under balanced acid/base conditions. The reservoir fluid is then pumped through the ultrafiltration system--a cartridge packed with ultrafiltration membranes shaped in hollow fibers. As the fluid travels inside the fiber, water and other small molecules--simple salts such as calcium and sodium, for example--pass through the porous membrane walls of the fibers and are discharged through the outlet as permeate. The polymer-bound metal, which is too large to pass through the pores, is both purified and concentrated inside the hollow fibers and is returned to the fluid reservoir for further waste water treatment.
Date: December 1, 1998
Creator: Smith, B.F.; Robison, T.W. & Jarvinen, G.D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Polymer filtration: A new technology for selective metals recovery

Description: Polymer Filtration (PF) was evaluated for the recovery of electroplating metal ions (zinc and nickel) from rinse waters. Polymer Filtration combines the use of water-soluble metal-binding polymers and ultrafiltration to concentrate metal ions from dilute rinse water solutions. The metal ions are retained by the polymers; the smaller, unbound species freely pass through the ultrafiltration membrane. By using this process the ultrafiltered permeate more than meets EPA discharge limits. The metal ions are recovered from the concentrated polymer solution by pH adjustment using diafiltration and can be recycled to the original electroplating baths with no deleterious effects on the test panels. Metal-ion recovery is accomplished without producing sludge.
Date: April 1, 1995
Creator: Smith, B.F.; Robison, T.W.; Cournoyer, M.E.; Wilson, K.V.; Sauer, N.N.; Mullen, K.I. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Preconcentration of low levels of americium and plutonium from waste waters by synthetic water-soluble metal-binding polymers with ultrafiltration

Description: A preconcentration approach to assist in the measurement of low levels of americium and plutonium in waste waters has been developed based on the concept of using water-soluble metal-binding polymers in combination with ultrafiltration. The method has been optimized to give over 90% recovery and accountability from actual waste water.
Date: December 31, 1997
Creator: Smith, B.F.; Gibson, R.R.; Jarvinen, G.D.; Robison, T.W.; Schroeder, N.C. & Stalnaker, N.D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Removal and recovery of metal ions from process and waste streams using polymer filtration

Description: Polymer Filtration (PF) is an innovative, selective metal removal technology. Chelating, water-soluble polymers are used to selectively bind the desired metal ions and ultrafiltration is used to concentrate the polymer-metal complex producing a permeate with low levels of the targeted metal ion. When applied to the treatment of industrial metal-bearing aqueous process streams, the permeate water can often be reused within the process and the metal ions reclaimed. This technology is applicable to many types of industrial aqueous streams with widely varying chemistries. Application of PF to aqueous streams from nuclear materials processing and electroplating operations will be described.
Date: June 13, 1999
Creator: Jarvinen, G.D.; Smith, B.F.; Robison, T.W.; Kraus, K.M. & Thompson, J.A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Reactivity of Metal Ions Bound to Water-Soluble Polymers

Description: The intent of this work is to determine the effectiveness of catalysts covalently bound to polymers and to understand the consequences of supporting the catalysts on catalyst efficiency and selectivity. Rhodium phosphine complexes with functional groups for coupling to polymers were prepared. These catalyst precursors were characterized using standard techniques including IR, NMR, and elemental analysis. Studies on the modified catalysts showed that they were still active hydrogenation catalysts. However, tethering of the catalysts to polyamines gave systems with low hydrogenation activity. Analogous biphasic systems were also explored. Phosphine ligands with a surfactant-like structure have been synthesized and used to prepare catalytically active complexes of palladium. The palladium complexes were utilized in Heck-type coupling reactions (e.g. coupling of iodobenzene and ethyl acrylate to produce ethyl cinnamate) under vigorously stirred biphasic reaction conditions, and were found to offer superior performance over a standard water-soluble palladium catalyst under analogous conditions.
Date: June 29, 1999
Creator: Sauer, N.N.; Watkins, J.G.; Lin, M.; Birnbaum, E.R.; Robison, T.W.; Smith, B.F. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fundamental studies of polymer filtration

Description: This is the final report of a one-year, Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The objectives of this project were (1) to develop an enhanced fundamental understanding of the coordination chemistry of hazardous-metal-ion complexation with water-soluble metal-binding polymers, and (2) to exploit this knowledge to develop improved separations for analytical methods, metals processing, and waste treatment. We investigated features of water-soluble metal-binding polymers that affect their binding constants and selectivity for selected transition metal ions. We evaluated backbone polymers using light scattering and ultrafiltration techniques to determine the effect of pH and ionic strength on the molecular volume of the polymers. The backbone polymers were incrementally functionalized with a metal-binding ligand. A procedure and analytical method to determine the absolute level of functionalization was developed and the results correlated with the elemental analysis, viscosity, and molecular size.
Date: December 31, 1998
Creator: Smith, B.F.; Lu, M.T.; Robison, T.W.; Rogers, Y.C. & Wilson, K.V.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Evaluation of synthetic water-soluble metal-binding polymers with ultrafiltration for selective concentration of americium and plutonium

Description: Routine counting methods and ICP-MS are unable to directly measure the new US Department of Energy (DOE) regulatory level for discharge waters containing alpha-emitting radionuclides of 30 pCi/L total alpha or the 0.05 pCi/L regulatory level for Pu or Am activity required for surface waters at the Rocky Flats site by the State of Colorado. This inability indicates the need to develop rapid, reliable, and robust analytical techniques for measuring actinide metal ions, particularly americium and plutonium. Selective separation or preconcentration techniques would aid in this effort. Water-soluble metal-binding polymers in combination with ultrafiltration are shown to be an effective method for selectively removing dilute actinide ions from acidic solutions of high ionic strength. The actinide-binding properties of commercially available water-soluble polymers and several polymers which have been reported in the literature were evaluated. The functional groups incorporated in the polymers were pyrrolidone, amine, oxime, and carboxylic, phosphonic, or sulfonic acid. The polymer containing phosphonic acid groups gave the best results with high distribution coefficients and concentration factors for {sup 241}Am(III) and {sup 238}Pu(III)/(IV) at pH 4 to 6 and ionic strengths of 0.1 to 4.
Date: December 31, 1997
Creator: Smith, B.F.; Gibson, R.R.; Jarvinen, G.D.; Jones, M.M.; Lu, M.T.; Robison, T.W. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department