Studies on the Separation and Recovery of Uranium from Phosphoric Acid Medium Using a Synergistic Mixture of (2-Ethylhexyl)phosphonic Acid Mono 2-Ethyl Hexyl Ester (PC-88A) and Tri-n-octylphosphine Oxide (TOPO)

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This paper deals with studies on the extraction of uranium(VI) from phosphoric acid medium using (2-ethylhexyl)phosphonic acid mono 2-ethylhexyl ester and tri-n-octylphosphine oxide individually as well as from their synergistic mixture. Different extraction parameters were investigated. With an increase in phosphoric acid concentration in the aqueous phase, the distribution ratio (Du) was found to decrease in all the cases. Synergism was observed when a mixture of PC-88A and TOPO was used. The synergistic mixture in the mole ratio of 4:1 (1.80 M PC-88A: 0.45 M TOPO) in xylene was found to be most suitable for uranium extraction. Among the various strip liquors used, 5% (w/v) solution of (NH4)2CO3 was found to be the most suitable. Using a mixture of 1.8 M PC-88A and 0.45 M TOPO as the extractant system and 0.5 M ammonium carbonate as the stripping agent, uranium recovery was found to be better than 97% ± 3% in multiple contacts, (n = 2) from actual Davies Gray Waste while in case of wet phosphoric acid more than 52% ± 3% (n = 3) only could be recovered where n is the number of contacts.

Keywords: acidic extractant; extraction; neutral donors; solvent composition; synergism; wet process phosphoric acid

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Fuel Reprocessing Division, 1-Rare Earths Development Section, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, Mumbai, India

Publication date: January 1, 2010

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