Encapsulating Amidoximated Nanofibrous Aerogels within Wood Cell Tracheids for Efficient Cascading Adsorption of Uranium Ions

Weihua Zhang, Chunlin Xu, Xinpeng Che, Ting Wang, Stefan Willför, Mingjie Li*, Chaoxu Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


Continuous filtering adsorption has drawn growing interest in the exploration of uranium resources in seawater and reduction in the environmental risks of uraniferous wastewater from nuclear industries. For most filtering adsorbents, repeated filtration, high membrane thickness, and high pressure are normally essential to achieve both a high rejection ratio and high filtration flux. Herein cellulose fibrils were preferentially exfoliated from the lignin-poor layer of secondary cell walls of balsa wood during an in situ amidoximation process. By maintaining honeycomb-like cellular microstructures and cellulose aerogel stuffing in their cell tracheids, the resultant nanowoods showed superior mechanical properties (e.g., compressive strength 1.3 MPa in transverse direction) with large surface areas (80 m2g-1). When their cell tracheids were aligned perpendicular to the flow and the edges sealed with a thermoset polymer, they could serve as efficient and high-pressure filtration membranes to capture aquatic uranium ions. In analogy to a typical cascading filtration system, the filtrate passed successively the layered-organized cell tracheids through abundant micropores on their cell walls, enabling a high rejection ratio of >99% and flux of 920 L m-2h-1under pressure up to 6 bar (membrane thickness of 2 mm). Thus, this study not only provides an in situ approach to producing robust woods with functional nanocellulose encapsulated into their cell tracheids but also offers a sustainable route for high-efficiency extraction of aqueous uranium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13144-13151
Number of pages8
JournalACS Nano
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Adsorption
  • Cascading filtration
  • Cellulose nanofibrils
  • Nanowood
  • Uranium ions


Dive into the research topics of 'Encapsulating Amidoximated Nanofibrous Aerogels within Wood Cell Tracheids for Efficient Cascading Adsorption of Uranium Ions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this