Massive quantities of energy and electricity will be needed to meet the needs and demands of the ever increasing population. However, no single energy source is sufficient to meet the required base load. Therefore, a combination of energy sources among which nuclear energy will continue to have an important share will be necessary. Instead of uranium (U), which is the most widely exploited and most disputed NE fuel, a much greener fuel -Thorium (Th)- may be used. Th with the great advantages it offers can be a promising fuel, but more effective, efficient and facile methods of analysis and monitoring should be developed. In this study, such an analysis method is developed via green analytical chemistry (GAC) principles and GA method (GAM). PVA -a bio-compatible polymer- was employed as support material for immobilization of Thorin -1-(2-Arsonophenylazo)-2-naphthol-3,6-disulfonic acid disodium salt- which is a successful complexing agent for the REE's and a highly selective and sensitive organo-analytical reagent for Th4+. Thorin was immobilized on PVA via physical immobilization method. This binding provided a very strong bond which allowed the continuous employment of the sorbent over a one year period with negligible leaching of the ligand. The sorbent was employed in preconcentration of Th from its aqueous solutions at trace levels and was sensitively, selectively and accurately detected by UV-VIS photometer. Exploitation of GAC provided a facile, eco-friendly, highly selective, sensitive, accurate and on-line method of analysis and monitoring of Th. Thereby, one of the big obstacles in the way of the wide-spread employment of Th as NE fuel may overcome.
Energy, thorium, green economy, eco-responsibility