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Extraction and Separation of Zr(IV) and Hf(IV) from Nitrate Medium by Some CYANEX Extractants

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A solvent extraction study has been carried out to extract and separate zirconium and hafnium from nitrate medium by using some phosphine oxide extractants (CYANEX 921, CYANEX 923, and CYANEX 925) in kerosene. The influence of the different factors affecting the extraction process was studied in detail. Apparently the rate of extraction of Zr(IV) and Hf(IV) in CYANEX 921, CYANEX 923, and CYANEX 925 is reasonably fast. The extraction increases with increasing temperature, suggesting that the reaction is endothermic. The stripping percent of Zr(IV) and Hf(IV) by 0.5 M HNO3 from the loaded organic phase after two stages reached 97.5% and 10.2%, respectively, which lead to good separation of the two metals. Under the optimum conditions, the extraction of zirconium was about 90, 87.6, and 91.6% and separation factors equal to 17, 21.4, and 40.7 were obtained for CYANEX 921, CYANEX 923, and CYANEX 925, respectively. The results obtained reveal that 2.0 M nitric acid is the optimum acid concentration for the separation of Zr(IV) and Hf(IV) and 0.4 M CYANEX 925 performs more efficient separation compared with other organophosphorus extractants.
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Keywords: Extraction; hafnium; organophosphorus extractants; zirconium

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Hot Laboratories Centre, Atomic Energy Authority, Cairo, Egypt

Publication date: 2009-09-01

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