A solid material for recovering metal ions from aqueous streams, and methods of making and using the solid material, are disclosed. The solid material is made by covalently bonding a chelating agent to a silica-based solid, or in-situ condensing ceramic precursors along with the chelating agent to accomplish the covalent bonding. The chelating agent preferably comprises a oxime type chelating head, preferably a salicylaldoxime-type molecule, with an organic tail covalently bonded to the head. The hydrocarbon tail includes a carbon-carbon double bond, which is instrumental in the step of covalently bonding the tail to the silica-based solid or the in-situ condensation. The invented solid material may be contacted directly with aqueous streams containing metal ions, and is selective to ions such as copper (II) even in the presence of such ions as iron (III) and other materials that are present in earthen materials. The solid material with high selectivity to copper may be used to recover copper from mining and plating industry streams, to replace the costly and toxic solvent extraction steps of conventional copper processing.
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION
This invention was made with United States Government support under Contract No. DE-AC07-94ID13223, now Contract No. DE-AC07-99ID13727 awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The United States Government has certain rights in the invention.