Extraction of uranium(VI) from nitric acid medium by 1.1M tri-n-butylphosphate in ionic liquid diluent
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A systematic study on the extraction of U(VI) from nitric acid medium by tri-n-butylphosphate (TBP) dissolved in a non-traditional diluent namely 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium hexafluorophosphate (bmimPF6) ionic liquid (IL) is reported. The results are compared with those obtained using TBP/n-dodecane (DD). The distribution ratio for the extraction of U(VI) from nitric acid by 1.1M TBP/bmimPF6 increases with increasing nitric acid concentration. The U(VI) distribution ratios are comparable in the nitric acid concentration range of 0.01M to 4M, to the ratios measured using 1.1M TBP/DD. In contrast to the extraction behavior of TBP/DD, the D values continued to increase with the increase in the concentration of nitric acid above 4.0M. The stoichiometry of uranyl solvate extracted by 1.1M TBP/IL is similar to that of TBP/DD system, wherein two molecules of TBP are associated with one molecule of uranyl nitrate in the organic phase. Ionic liquid alone also extracts uranium from nitric acid, albeit to a small extent. The exothermic enthalpy accompanying the extraction of U(VI) in TBP/bmimPF6 decreases with increasing nitric acid and with TBP concentrations.
KeywordsUranium Nitric Acid Ionic Liquid Distribution Ratio Hexafluorophosphate
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