JOM
, Volume 50, Issue 12, pp 45-47

Characterizing and classifying uranium yellow cakes: A background

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Abstract

Uranium concentrates obtained from leach solutions, known as uranium yellow cakes, represent an intermediate step in the processing of uranium ores. Yellow cake concentrates are prepared by various metallurgical methods, depending on the types of ores. Samples of yellow cakes prepared under various methods were analyzed; examined in detail by means of x-ray diffraction, infrared spectra, and wet chemical methods; and classified by mineralogic methods. The cakes were classified as uranyl hydroxide hydrate, basic uranyl sulfate hydrate, sodium para-uranate, and uranyl peroxide hydrate. The experimental preparation methods and characterization methodology used are described, and the significance of structural types to the physical and chemical properties of yellow cake production, as well as the pyrolytic transformations at high temperatures, are discussed.

Donald M. Hausen is currently a consultant in process mineralogy in Salt Lake City, Utah.