Capture of organic iodides from nuclear waste by metal-organic framework-based molecular traps

Baiyan Li, Xinglong Dong, Hao Wang, Dingxuan Ma, Kui Tan, Stephanie Jensen, Benjamin J. Deibert, Joseph Butler, Jeremy Cure, Zhan Shi, Timo Thonhauser, Yves J. Chabal, Yu Han, Jing Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Citations (Scopus)


Effective capture of radioactive organic iodides from nuclear waste remains a significant challenge due to the drawbacks of current adsorbents such as low uptake capacity, high cost, and non-recyclability. We report here a general approach to overcome this challenge by creating radioactive organic iodide molecular traps through functionalization of metal-organic framework materials with tertiary amine-binding sites. The molecular trap exhibits a high CH3I saturation uptake capacity of 71 wt% at 150 °C, which is more than 340% higher than the industrial adsorbent Ag0@MOR under identical conditions. These functionalized metal-organic frameworks also serve as good adsorbents at low temperatures. Furthermore, the resulting adsorbent can be recycled multiple times without loss of capacity, making recyclability a reality. In combination with its chemical and thermal stability, high capture efficiency and low cost, the adsorbent demonstrates promise for industrial radioactive organic iodides capture from nuclear waste. The capture mechanism was investigated by experimental and theoretical methods.

Original languageEnglish
Article number485
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Li, B., Dong, X., Wang, H., Ma, D., Tan, K., Jensen, S., Deibert, B. J., Butler, J., Cure, J., Shi, Z., Thonhauser, T., Chabal, Y. J., Han, Y., & Li, J. (2017). Capture of organic iodides from nuclear waste by metal-organic framework-based molecular traps. Nature communications, 8(1), [485].