This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Uranyl Sensing and Extracting Using Salen-base Quinoxalinol Ligands




West, Maya

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Chemistry and Biochemistry


In spite of infamous nuclear accidents, the increasing need for low cost, reliable energy with low greenhouse emission makes the use of nuclear power an attractive option. Unfortunately, the nuclear fuel cycle produces a plethora of radioactive metal enriched wastes. This waste consists of not only environmentally unfriendly toxins, but also recyclable radioactive metals, that could be reused. One of the main issues associated with current methods of detection is that the concentrations of contaminants found at sites are relatively low, and are difficult to detect due to having a low or weak signal. Research has shown that the signal of the low concentrated contaminants can be enhanced using a matrix or chelate. In regards to implementing a chelate to enhance the signal a 2-quinoxalinol salen ligand synthesized by the Gorden research group has shown binding capabilities of 2+ metal ions. Coupling this ligand with a solid support has the ability to enhance the probability of using this metal-scavenging ligand as an aid for the extraction of metals from the environment. Reported herein, is the study on how varying electronic groups of Schiff-base ligands effects the metal chelation, development of a solid-support system for uranyl extraction, and applications using the developed systems.