DISSOLUTION OF METAL OXIDES AND SEPARATION OF URANIUM FROM LANTHANIDES AND ACTINIDES IN SUPERCRITICAL CARBON DIOXIDE
Description: This paper investigates the feasibility of extracting and separating uranium from lanthanides and other actinides by using supercritical fluid carbon dioxide (sc-CO2) as a solvent modified with tri-n-butylphosphate (TBP) for the development of a counter current stripping technique, which would be a more efficient and environmentally benign technology for spent nuclear fuel reprocessing compared to traditional solvent extraction. Several actinides (U, Pu, and Np) and europium were extracted in sc-CO2 modified with TBP over a range of nitric acid concentrations and then the actinides were exposed to reducing and complexing agents to suppress their extractability. According to this study, uranium/europium and uranium/plutonium extraction and separation in sc-CO2 modified with TBP is successful at nitric acid concentrations of less than 6 M and at nitric acid concentrations of less than 3 M with acetohydroxamic acid or oxalic acid, respectively. A scheme for recycling uranium from spent nuclear fuel by using sc-CO2 and counter current stripping columns is presented.
Date: October 1, 2013
Creator: Quach, Donna L.; Mincher, Bruce J. & Wai, Chien M.
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