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The Team Led by Professor Wang Shu’ao of the School for Radiological and Interdisciplinary Sciences achieved a series of progresses in the area of environmental radiochemistry




Recently, the team led by Professor Wang Shu’ao of the School for Radiological and Interdisciplinary Sciences has achieved a series of progresses in the area of environmental radiochemistry, including:


(1) To some extent, the research of the  team has changed the basic understanding that the  chemical behavior of solid tervalent lanthanide is the same  with  that of  solid tervalent  actinide elements,  which preliminarily  generates the rare earth separation and lanthanide  separation based on the concepts of green selective  crystal  separation. Published  in Nature  Communications (Nat. Commun., 2017, 8, 14438), the research is expected to be used to better the key processes regarding the irradiated fuel reprocessing.


(2) For the first time, the team synthesize and separate out, in strongly acid solution, a stable crystal structure featuring the Metal-Organic  Frameworks  with zirconium  phosphonate  group, which can  be used to absorb  uranyl ions selectively under  a highly acid condition. In this  case, the research published on  Nature  Communications (Nat.  Commun., 2017,  8, 15369)  has   created a new path for  synthesizing stable MOFs with functional  zirconium phosphonate group and bettering the  irradiated  fuel reprocessing  and  the prevention   of  radionuclide contamination.


(3) Preliminarily  exploring the possibilityof using MOFs made of actinide  metals to fix actinide ions and as the chemical species  where nuclear waste can be stored under the earth, and  noticing a single case whereMOFs constituted by triple interlocked uranyl can withstand high dose ionizing radiation. The article is published in the form of pictures in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2015, 137, 6144).


(4) Finding out that the MOFs made  by uranium metals could be used as highly sensitive  sensors to detect  low dose ionizing radiation  accurately. The  research published in  Angewandte Chemie International Edition (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2017, DOI: 10.1002/anie.201700919) creates a new application of depleted uranium, and promotes the development of radiation detection.


(5) Successfully breaking the neckline where traditional anion-exchange  materials might  decrease the selectivity  and separation efficiency  of the  anion with  pertechnetate  radical, developing  a broad heading of Metal-Organic Frameworks made  of new cations that can be  used to speed up the reduction  of pertechnetate  radicals with high  sensitivity. Published separately in Environmental Science and Technology (Environ. Sci. Technol., 2017, 51, 3471) and Environmental Science and Technology Letters (Environ. Sci. Technol. Lett., 2017, DOI: 10.1021/acs.estlett.7b001659), the research is expected to resolve the leakage of technetium in nuclear waste.


(6) Developing several  new solid materials that can  be used to block the movement of  highly toxic and radioactive nuclides in  the environment, and detect the influences  of these nuclides in waters. The results of related researches are published in Environmental Science and Technology (Environ. Sci. Technol., 2016, 50, 3852; Environ. Sci. Technol., 2017, 51, 3911).


The above researches and results can be used not only to promote the circulation processes of nuclear fuels and the ability of irradiated fuel reprocessing in China, but to improve the levels of prevention and treatment of radioactive contamination and the competence of nuclear emergencies. To some extent, these researches have strengthened theinternational influence of China in the very field. These works are funded by the National Natural Science Funds for Excellent Young Scholar, the Major Research plan of the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Science Challenge Program for National Defense of the State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense,the Thousand Talents Plan for Young Professionals, and theExcellent Youth Foundation of Jiangsu Scientific Committee.




Brief Introduction to Professor Wang Shu’ao: Dr. Wang Shu’ao currently serves as the assistant to the dean of the School for Radiological and Interdisciplinary Sciences, a special-term professor, and the director of the Center of Nuclear Environmental Chemistry. He is also the candidate of the Thousand Talents Plan for Young Professionals, and the winner of National Natural Science Funds for Excellent Young Scholar and the Excellent Youth Foundation of Jiangsu Scientific Committee. He got the Bachelor Degree of Sciences from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering of the University of Science and Technology of China in 2007, and the doctoral degree from the Energy Frontier Research Center of the University of Notre Dame in 2012, and continued his post-doctoral studies in the Glenn T. SeaborgCenter of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Department of Chemistry of the University of California, Berkeley. In the year of 2013, Wang started his career in Soochow University, with the researches on nuclear environmental chemistry and radionuclide coordination chemistry being his major focuses.



After conducting his researches independently, he has published over 40 papers in well-known journals such as Nat. Commun., J. Am. Chem. Soc.,Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., and Environ. Sci. Technol., which has been cited for over 1200 times. With many of his research results being approved as international or Chinese Patents, some works of the professor have also been reported by Discovery Channel, ScienceDaily, CNN and the official website of DOE. In the year of 2012, Professor Wang was awarded with the Award for Young Scientist by American Chemical Society and the Ludo Frevel Crystallography Scholarships by the International Centre For Diffraction Data. In addition, the Chinese Chemical Society also presented him with the Youth Award in Chemistry. Except for the positions in Soochow University, Professor Wang also serves as the director of the Branch Association of Actinide Physics and Chemistry of the Chinese Nuclear Society, the Member of the Committee of Nuclear Environmental Chemistry under the Branch Association of Nuclear Chemistry and Radiation Chemistry of the Chinese Nuclear Society, the Youth Member of the Committee of Radiation and Environment of Biophysical Society of China, the Member of the Scholarship Committee of the Chinese Chemical Society, the Member of the Chemical Branch of the Chinese Society For Environmental Sciences, and the Editorial Board Member of Nuclear Chemistry and Radiation Chemistry.



Links to the Representative Achievements of Professor Wang

http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms14438

A new Concept to Separate Lanthanides and Actinides:

https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms15369

Treatment of Uranium Contamination with zirconium phosphonate framework:

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jacs.5b02480

Fixing uranyl ions with MOFs:


Detecting the Dose of Ionizing Radiation with Uranium Materials:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/anie.201700919/full


Treating radioactive anions with cation frameworks:

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.7b00339


Handling radioactive anions with cation frameworks:

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.estlett.7b00165


Detecting Uranium in the Environment with MOFs:

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.6b06305



Fixing tervalent actinide elements with hydroxyapatite:

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.5b05932