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Project TitleAn Oxine Modified Silica Polyamine Composite for the separation of Gallium from Aluminum, ferric from Nickel and Copper from Nickel
Track Code2011-002
Short Description

This technology utilizes silica polyamine composite materials to separate iron from nickel, copper from nickel, and gallium from aluminum.


A series of oxine ligands, 5-X, 8-OH-C9H6N (X = H, Cl, S03H) have been covalently bound to a silica gel polyamine composite made from a silanized amorphous silica xerogel and poly(allylamine) (BP-1) by the Mannich reaction. The resulting modified composites WP-4(X = H), CB-1(X = Cl), and SB-1(X = S03H) were characterized by elemental analysis, FTIR, and solid state CPMAS-13C-NMR. Using the analytical data before and after the ligand modification, the ligand loading could be estimated and in combination with metal ion capacities a metal to ligand ratio could be obtained. The composites WP-4 and CB-1 both showed ratios of approximately 1: 1 while the sulfonate modified composite, SB-1, showed a metal to ligand ratio of 1: 2. This is tentatively interpreted in terms of a zwitterionic oxine as the dominant species at pH = 2 where the sulfonic acid group is ionized, the quinoline nitrogen is protonated and where two sulfonate groups on adjacent oxines bind a trivalent or divalent ion. All the modified composites show a clear selectivity for trivalent over divalent ions and a good selectivity for gallium over aluminum. The substituent groups on the oxine ligand have only a minor influence on these selectivity trends but SB-1 shows slightly better capture kinetics. The selectivity for gallium over aluminum is applied to the separation of gallium from aluminum, ferrous, and zinc in an acid ore leach of solid tailings obtained from a zinc mine using WP-4.

Tagspolyamines, composite materials, functionalization of polymers, selectivity, ion exchangers, iron, gallium, river restoration, copper, nickel, mining, waste, silica polyamine composite
Posted DateNov 18, 2010 5:17 PM

Technology Overview

This technology utilizes silica polyamine composite materials to separate iron from nickel, copper from nickel, and gallium from aluminum. An application of this technology utilizes the silica polyamine composites to remediate metal concentrations in surface water, an environmental problem created by industrial mining. 

  • Inventors: Edward Rosenberg, Paul Miranda, Yuen Onn Wong
  • Intellectual Property Status: Patent Pending
  • Licensing Status: Licensing Available


Access the publication related to this invention by clicking on the following link:  

Licensing Contact

Interested in hearing more about this technology? Contact The University of Montana, Office of Technology Transfer:  406.243.6670

Office of Technology Transfer

Director - Joe Fanguy

(406) 243-2148