Skip to main content

Modified diglycolamides for grouped actinide separation


The EURO-grouped actinide extraction process has been developed to co-separate transuranic actinide elements from spent nuclear fuel, based on an organic solvent composed of two extractants, a diglycolamide (TODGA) and a malonamide (DMDOHEMA). This work aims to simplify the organic formulation, replacing the two extractants with a single modified diglycolamide. Batch experiments were carried out with the new formulation, investigating the extraction behaviour of transuranic elements and important FPs under high Pu loading. The solvent had a Pu loading capacity of > 30 g/L and yielded low distribution ratios for problematic elements, i.e., Sr, Zr, Mo and Fe for acidities up to 2 M HNO3. Although further optimization is needed, the tested molecule is a very promising candidate for a simplified organic solvent for this type of separation.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7


  1. 1.

    Taylor R (2015) Reprocessing and recycling of spent nuclear fuel. Woodhead Publishing, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Miguirditchian M, Sorel C, Camès B, Bisel I, Baron P, Espinoux D, Calor J-N, Viallesoubranne C, Lorrain B, Masson M (2009) HA demonstration in the Atalante facility of the GANEX 1st cycle for the selective extraction of uranium from HLW. In: Proceedings of the international conference GLOBAL 2009 (the nuclear fuel cycle: sustainable options and industrial perspectives), Paris, France, 6–11 September 2009

  3. 3.

    Miguirditchian M, Roussel H, Chareyre L, Baron P, Espinoux D, Calor J-N, Viallesoubranne C, Lorrain B, Masson M (2009) HA demonstration in the Atalante facility of the GANEX 2nd cycle for the grouped TRU extraction. In: Proceedings of the international conference GLOBAL 2009 (the nuclear fuel cycle: sustainable options and industrial perspectives), Paris, France, 6–11 September 2009

  4. 4.

    Bourg S, Hill C, Caravaca C, Rhodes C, Ekberg C, Taylor R, Geist A, Modolo G, Cassayre L, Malmbeck R, Harrison M, de Angelis G, Espartero A, Bouvet S, Ouvrier N (2011) ACSEPT—partitioning technologies and actinide science: towards pilot facilities in Europe. Nucl Eng Des 241(9):3427–3435

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Carrott M, Bell K, Brown J, Geist A, Gregson C, Hérès X, Maher C, Malmbeck R, Mason C, Modolo G, Müllich U, Sarsfield M, Wilden A, Taylor R (2014) Development of a new flowsheet for co-separating the transuranic actinides: the “EURO-GANEX” process. Solvent Extr Ion Exch 32(5):447–467

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Carrott M, Geist A, Hérès X, Lange S, Malmbeck R, Miguirditchian M, Modolo G, Wilden A, Taylor R (2015) Distribution of plutonium, americium and interfering fission products between nitric acid and a mixed organic phase of TODGA and DMDOHEMA in kerosene, and implications for the design of the “EURO-GANEX” process. Hydrometallurgy 152:139–148

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Sasaki Y, Sugo Y, Suzuki S, Tachimori S (2001) The novel extractants, diglycolamides, for the extraction of lanthanides and actinides in HNO3/n-dodecane system. Solvent Extr Ion Exch 19(1):91–103

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Berthon L, Morel JM, Zorz N, Nicol C, Virelizier H, Madic C (2001) DIAMEX process for minor actinide partitioning: hydrolytic and radiolytic degradations of malonamide extractants. Sep Sci Technol 36(5–6):709–728

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Sasaki Y, Tachimori S (2002) Extraction of actinides(III), (IV), (VI) and lanthanides(III) by structurally tailored diamides. Solvent Extr Ion Exch 20(1):21–34

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Brown J, McLachlan F, Sarsfield M, Taylor R, Modolo G, Wilden A (2012) Plutonium loading of prospective grouped actinide extraction (GANEX) solvent systems based on diglycolamide extractants. Solvent Extr Ion Exch 30(2):127–141

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Carrott MJ, Gregson CR, Taylor RJ (2013) Neptunium extraction and stability in the GANEX solvent: 0.2 M TODGA/0.5 M DMDOHEMA/kerosene. Solvent Extr Ion Exch 31(5):463–482

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Dinh B, Moisy P, Baron P, Calor J-N, Espinoux D, Lorrain B, Benchikouhne-Ranchoux M (2008) Modified PUREX first-cycle extraction for neptunium recovery. In: Moyer BA (ed) Proceedings of the international solvent extraction conference (ISEC 2008), Tucson, Arizona, USA, 15–19 September 2008

  13. 13.

    Taylor RJ, Gregson CR, Carrott MJ, Mason C, Sarsfield MJ (2013) Progress towards the full recovery of neptunium in an advanced PUREX process. Solvent Extr Ion Exch 31(4):442–462

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Sypula M, Wilden A, Schreinemachers C, Malmbeck R, Geist A, Taylor R, Modolo G (2012) Use of polyaminocarboxylic acids as hydrophilic masking agents for fission products in actinide partitioning processes. Solvent Extr Ion Exch 30(7):748–764

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Geist A, Müllich U, Magnusson D, Kaden P, Modolo G, Wilden A, Zevaco T (2012) Actinide(III)/lanthanide(III) separation via selective aqueous complexation of actinides(III) using a hydrophilic 2,6-bis(1,2,4-triazin-3-yl)-pyridine in nitric acid. Solvent Extr Ion Exch 30(5):433–444

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Carrott MJ, Fox OD, Maher CJ, Mason C, Taylor RJ, Sinkov SI, Choppin GR (2007) Solvent extraction behavior of plutonium(IV) ions in the presence of simple hydroxamic acids. Solvent Extr Ion Exch 25(6):723–745

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Malmbeck R, Carrot M, Geist A, Hérès X, Magnusson D, Miguirditchian M, Modolo G, Müllich U, Sorel C, Taylor R, Wilden A (2018) Homogenous recycling of transuranium elements from irradiated fast reactor fuel by the EURO-GANEX solvent extraction process. Radiochimica (in publication)

  18. 18.

    Sasaki Y, Sugo Y, Suzuki S, Kimura T (2005) A method for the determination of extraction capacity and its application to N, N, N′, N′-tetraalkyl derivatives of diglycolamide-monoamide/n-dodecane media. Anal Chim Acta 543(1–2):31–37

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Iqbal M, Huskens J, Verboom W, Sypula M, Modolo G (2010) Synthesis and Am/Eu extraction of novel TODGA derivatives. Supramol Chem 22(11/12):827–837

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Wilden A, Modolo G, Lange S, Sadowski F, Beele BB, Skerencak-Frech A, Panak PJ, Iqbal M, Verboom W, Geist A, Bosbach D (2014) Modified diglycolamides for the An(III) + Ln(III) co-separation: evaluation by solvent extraction and time-resolved laser fluorescence spectroscopy. Solvent Extr Ion Exch 32(2):119–137

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from the EU GENIORS project and Åforsk foundation.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Rikard Malmbeck.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Malmbeck, R., Magnusson, D. & Geist, A. Modified diglycolamides for grouped actinide separation. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 314, 2531–2538 (2017).

Download citation


  • Solvent extraction
  • Modified DGA