Uranium recovery and purification from simulated waste streams containing high uranium concentrations with dispersion liquid membranes

Abstract

The suitability of dispersion liquid membranes (DLMs) to recover and purify uranium from simulated waste streams containing nitric acid, high uranium concentrations and radionuclide contaminants with tributyl phosphate (TBP) and ammonium carbonate ((NH4)2CO3) as stripping solution was investigated. The radionuclide surrogates were not extracted and complete uranium recovery was obtained from 15 g U L−1 solutions using a 1:4 ratio of 30% TBP in kerosene and 0.75 M (NH4)2CO3 dispersion. In addition, all the uranium in the stripping solution was precipitated. Consequently, DLM proved to be a promising solvent extraction contacting method for uranium recovery and purification.

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Fig. 1

Adapted from Gabelman and Hwang [12] with permission from Elsevier

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Acknowledgements

This work is based on the research supported in part by Necsa and the South African National Research Foundation (NRF).

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Correspondence to Maretha Fourie.

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Fourie, M., van der Westhuizen, D.J. & Krieg, H.M. Uranium recovery and purification from simulated waste streams containing high uranium concentrations with dispersion liquid membranes. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 317, 355–366 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10967-018-5860-y

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Keywords

  • High uranium concentration
  • Tributyl phosphate
  • Radionuclide contaminants
  • Ammonium carbonate stripping solution
  • Dispersion liquid membrane