Nuclear energy is a sustainable low-carbon energy source that plays an increasingly important role in supporting the progress of human society. However, there are safety issues associated with the operation of nuclear reactors. In particular, volatile radioactive elements, primarily 129I and 131I, in the form of molecular iodine (I2) or organic iodides (e.g., CH3I and CH3CH2I), are harmful for the environment and human health and must be removed before discharging the off-gas. Adsorption processes employing porous solid adsorbents to capture radioactive iodine compounds have attracted considerable attention owing to their simple operation and low maintenance cost and because they avoid the use of highly corrosive solutions. Despite the efforts devoted to developing novel adsorbents for iodine capture, certain critical issues related to practical applications have been overlooked. This review summarizes the adsorption mechanisms employed to capture I2 and CH3I, focusing on the different adsorbent requirements. This review also compares the static and dynamic evaluation systems, analyzes the structure–function relationship under different testing conditions, and highlights the importance of using appropriate conditions to evaluate adsorbents. Moreover, the simultaneous capture of I2 and CH3I is discussed, which is quite challenging but has been largely ignored in previous studies. Finally, this review outlines the challenges and opportunities in this field from the perspective of materials design and system evaluation, indicating that properly designing adsorbents to provide sufficient chemisorption sites may be the only way to meet the practical application requirements.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- General Materials Science
- General Chemistry