The sequestering of uranium from the ocean is an attractive choice for clean energy due to its vast inventory (about 4.5 billion tons). In this regard, the extractant with high binding affinity to uranyl (UO22+) is desired. In the past few decades, amidoxime (AO) has been screened as the most promising candidate, and various absorption materials bearing this ligand or its derivatives have been developed and applied in both mimic seawater and field experiments. To date, sequestering uranium from ocean at the industrial level is still limited. Enhancing the binding capability of the extractant towards uranyl has always been an issue of top-priority.
In this report, we have developed a novel “one-pot” reaction for the synthesis of amidoxime compounds, which can be used for studying the substituent effects systemically. The results from electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS), fiuorescence quenching experiments, and theoretical calculations provide consistent conclusions on the electronic effect of the substituent on AO–UO2 bonding.[1-4]
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