Towards new applications for Uranium
In order to produce nuclear power, the fissile 235U isotope needs to be enriched. During this process, large amounts of so-called depleted uranium (with a decreased 235U fraction) is produced. Even though many countries in Europe have started to phase out nuclear power, over 1 Mio. tonnes of depleted uranium have been accumulated worldwide. The current uses are very limited: Mainly for armor, tank armour or as counter weights for ships and planes.
Our group is interested in developing more technically advanced uses for this waste product. While the organometallic and non-aqueous chemistry of uranium has evolved more rapidly during the last two decades, the understanding of its bonding and reactivity is still lagging behind compared to the transition metals. It has already emerged, though, that uranium often possesses very unique properties different to both transition metals and lanthanoids. We’re therefore developing new ligand systems to explore the non-aqueous uranium coordination chemistry. Our interests range from the fundamental understanding of bonding and reactivity patterns towards applications in catalysis and materials. By combining various experimental, spectroscopic and computational methods, we ensure the best possible understanding of our systems.
We are grateful to receive support for our research by the Fonds der Chemischen Industrie through a Liebig fellowship and the Daimler und Benz Stiftung.