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Monday, May 20, 2024
Mugglehead Magazine
Alternative investment news based in Vancouver, B.C.


Chinese researchers develop efficient method of extracting uranium from seawater

The Nuclear Energy Agency says there is 4.5 billion tons of uranium-bearing dissolved uranyl ions floating in the ocean

Chinese researchers develop efficient method of extracting uranium from seawater
Electrode material used to trap uranium ions from a solution containing 500 ppm uranium in a lab test. Photo credit: ACS Central Science journal

Chinese researchers have developed a means of efficiently extracting uranium from ocean water. Their findings were published in the journal ACS Central Science last month.

The scholars are from Northeast Normal University in the Jilin province’s capital city Changchun. They created a carbon fibre-based electrode material with microscopic crevices and or crannies that will trap uranyl/uranium ions.

The Nuclear Energy Agency says there are about 4.5 billion tons of uranium-bearing dissolved uranyl ions floating around in the ocean. The organization estimates that there is more than 1,000 times as much uranium in the ocean than in land deposits.

The researchers tested their invention with seawater from the Bohai Sea on China’s east coast. The electrode material was capable of extracting 12.6 milligrams of uranium for each gram of the cloth’s mass used to capture it.

They had significant success capturing the element from a solution containing 500 parts per million uranium in another lab test too.

The investigators say the material they developed extracted uranium much more efficiently than all other materials they tested. They believe further development of their invention could help facilitate an increased level of ocean uranium extraction.

“Electrochemical uranium extraction from seawater provides a new opportunity for a sustainable supply of nuclear fuel,” the scholars said. “Recently, the emerging and attractive method has received more and more attention.”

Read more: ATHA Energy closes C$23.5M financing, continues exploration with stronger balance sheet

Read more: ATHA Energy to acquire Latitude Uranium and 92 Energy, creating industry’s largest uranium portfolio

Uranium market to grow significantly

A November report from Delaware’s Verified Market Research predicted that the global uranium market would be worth about US$4.5 billion more in 2030 than it was at the end of 2023.

Despite recent innovations in ocean extraction, the world’s uranium supply primarily comes from ground deposits in Kazakhstan, Canada and Namibia.

Mining companies active in those countries include the world’s number one uranium producer Kazatomprom (FRA: 0ZQ); the explorer with the largest land package in Canada’s top uranium jurisdiction, ATHA Energy Corp. (CSE: SASK) (FRA: X5U) (OTCQB: SASKF); and Namibia-focused Deep Yellow Limited (ASX: DYL).


ATHA Energy is a sponsor of Mugglehead news coverage 


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