Date: July 1995
Creator: Chaiko, David J.; Mertz, C. J.; Vojta, Y.; Henriksen, J. L.; Neff, R. & Takeuchi, M.
Description: A series of polymer-based extraction systems, based on the use of polyethylene glycols (PEGs) or polypropylene glycols (PPGs), was demonstrated to be capable of selective extraction and recovery of long-lived radionuclides, such as Tc-99 and I-129, from Hanford SY-101 tank waste, neutralized current acid waste, and single-shell tank waste simulants. During the extraction process, anionic species like TcO₄⁻ and I⁻ are selectively transferred to the less dense PEG-rich aqueous phase. The partition coefficients for a wide range of inorganic cations and anions, such as sodium, potassium, aluminum, nitrate, nitrite, and carbonate, are all less than one. The partition coefficients for pertechnetate ranged from 12 to 50, depending on the choice of waste simulant and temperature. The partition coefficient for iodide was about 5, while that of iodate was about 0.25. Irradiation of the PEG phase with gamma-ray doses up to 20 Mrad had no detectable effect on the partition coefficients. The most selective extraction systems examined were those based on PPGs, which exhibited separation factors in excess of 3000 between TcO₄⁻ and NO₃⁻/NO₂⁻. An advantage of the PPG-based system is minimization of secondary waste production. These studies also highlighted the need for exercising great care in extrapolating the partitioning behavior ...
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