Extraction of transplutionium and rare-earth elements, molybdenum and iron with zirconium salt of dibutyl phosphoric acid
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Zirconium salt of dibutyl phosphoric acid (ZS-HDBP) dissolved in dilute tributyl phosphate (TBP) is proposed as a solvent for separation of transplutonium and rare-earth elements (TPE, RE), including yttrium, from high-level waste in the presence of molybdenum and iron. The optimum HDBP:Zr ratio is 9 for RE and TPE extraction and is 12.5 for Mo. IR spectra indicate formation of Zr(DBP)4(HDBP)4 complex as a base of solvation. HNO3 depresses RE and TPE extraction, while Mo extraction is characterised by a minimum at 2.5 mol/L HNO3. Presence of TBP in the solvent, independently of the used diluent, leads to reduction of the distribution coefficients, but ZS-HDBP extraction capacity for the above elements is increased, as well as solubility of their solvates.
Two types of complexes M(DBP)3 and MNO3(DBP)2 are formed at RE and TPE extraction by ZS-HDBP in dilute TBP. Molybdenum extraction is based both on cation exchange and on Mo solvation with HDBP as a neutral ligand. Iron extraction is formally similar to that of Mo, being influenced by the latter if both metals are present in the solution.
KeywordsNitric Acid Concentration HNO3 Concentration Iron Extraction Transplutonium Zirconium Salt
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