Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry

, Volume 321, Issue 3, pp 841–849 | Cite as

A method for the mg scale separation of curium(III) from americium(III) by HPLC using a SCX column

  • Nidhu lal Banik
  • Klaus Lützenkirchen
  • Rikard MalmbeckEmail author
  • Adrian Nichol


A method intended for the mg scale separation of curium (Cm) from americium (Am) and plutonium (Pu) based on high pressure liquid chromatography using a strong cation exchange column has been investigated. Reproducible separations were achieved on the Luna SCX (Phenomenex) column with α-hydroxymethylbutyric acid (α-HMBA) as eluant. The separation performance was investigated on the tracer level varying the pH, concentration, temperature and flow rate of the eluting solution. It was found that 0.1 M α-HMBA at a pH of 3.7 using a flow-rate of 1 mL/min, gave enough peak resolution for an efficient and reproducible separation of Cm from Am. Separations with gadolinium loading were investigated to scale up the purification of Cm from tracer level to mg scale. Baseline chromatographic separations were demonstrated in column loadings of up to 20% of full column capacity, corresponding to 2.5 mg of Cm.


Chromatography HPLC Cm Am alpha-Hydroxymethylbutyric acid Separation 



We acknowledge Prof. Dr. Roberto Caicuffo, European Commission, Joint Research Centre—JRC, Directorate G, Karlsruhe, Germany for scientific discussions and his continuous support throughout this work.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.European Commission, Joint Research Centre – JRC, Directorate G, Nuclear Safety and SecurityKarlsruheGermany

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