Date: August 1979
Creator: Horwitz, E. P.; Bloomquist, C. A. A.; Mason, G. W.; Leonard, R. A. & Ziegler, A. A.
Description: A flow-sheet for the recovery of actinides from TBP-Na2CO3scrub-waste solutions has been developed, based on batch extraction data, and tested, using laboratory-scale countercurrent extraction techniques. The process, called the ARALEX process, uses 2-ethyl-1-hexanol (2-EHOH) to extract the TBP degradation products (HDBP and H/sub 2/MBP) from acidified Na2CO3scrub waste leaving the actinides in the aqueous phase. Dibutyl and monobutyl phosphoric acids are attached to the 2-EHOH molecules through hydrogen bonds, which also diminish the ability of the HDBP and H2/MBP to complex actinides. Thus all actinides remain in the aqueous raffinate. Dilute sodium hydroxide solutions can be used to back-extract the dibutyl and monobutyl phosphoric acid esters as their sodium salts. The 2-EHOH can then be recycled. After extraction of the acidified carbonate waste with 2-EHOH, the actinides may be readily extracted from the raffinate with DHDECMP or, in the case of tetra- and hexavalent actinides, with TBP. The ARALEX process can also be applied to other actinide waste streams which contain appreciable concentrations of polar organic compounds (e.g., detergents) that interfere with conventional actinide ion exchange and liquid-liquid extraction procedures.
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