Transport of Radionuclides

The use of time-lapse fluorescence imaging (TLFI) to assess the impact of bacterial colloidal particles in uranyl nitrate complexation and transport through porous media

Overview

The biosorption of heavy metals (i.e. Uranium) to bacterial colloids offer a relatively cheap alternative solution of decommissioning and bioremediation to radioactive contamination sites. Uranium leaching to the environment through radioactive wastes and uranium mining activities is a big concern for the environment. Many researchers have predicted the transport behaviour of uranium in its transport form (U(VI)) and bacterial fate in soils.

Bacteria such as Acinetobacter and pseudonymous have been used extensively in soil treatment for its efficiency to bioremediate toxic heavy metal (i.e. uranium). The adsorption of uranium by bacterial colloidal particles is affected by environmental parameters such as pH and temperature.

Objectives

This research will provide a solution to capture uranium in the mobile form of U(VI) providing a method, once captured, that allows new options to completely remove the uranium species from the environment. This will occur by assessing the impact of bacterial colloidal particles and potential transport of U(VI).

This research also looks at the transport of uranium in its mobile form (U(VI)) through porous media by assessing the genotoxicity and bioavaibility of uranium in groundwater

Program

  • To develop a visualisation model of the transport of uranium
  • To assess the impact of a biofilm on uranium adsorption
  • To develop an oxygen sensor that would be sensitive to UV light to measure the effect the effect of oxygen concentration on the reduction of U(VI) to U(IV) using ZVI

Result to date

DAPI_staining_1

DAPI_staining_2

          Acinetobacter under microscopy (DAPI staining)

Acinetobacter plume through saturated sand_1

Acinetobacter_plume_through_saturated_sand_2

           Acinetobacter plume through saturated sand

Research Staff: Ali Al-Anizi