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