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Uranium Permeation Studies from Nitric Acid Medium across Supported Liquid Membrane Impregnated with PC88A and its Mixtures with Neutral Oxodonors in n-paraffin as Carriers

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Abstract:

The permeation of U(VI) from nitric acid medium using supported liquid membrane (SLM) technique has been studied employing varying compositions of feed (uranium concentration and acidity), carrier, and receiving phase. Microporous polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) membranes were used as a solid support and 2-ethylhexyl phosphonic acid mono-2-ethylhexyl ester (PC88A) either alone or as a mixture of neutral donors like tri-n-butyl phosphate (TBP), tris(2-ethylhexyl) phosphate (TEHP), and tri-n-octyl phosphine oxide (TOPO) dissolved in n-parrafin as the carrier. Oxalic acid/Na2CO3 solutions were used as the receiving phase. The permeability coefficient (P) of U(VI) decreased with increased nitric acid concentration up to 3 M HNO3 and thereafter increased up to 5 M HNO3. Uranium permeation was also investigated from its binary mixtures with other metal ions such as Zr(IV), Th(IV), and Y(III) at 2 M HNO3 employing 0.1 M PC88A/n-paraffin as the carrier, and 0.5 M oxalic acid as the receiver phase. The presence of neutral donors in the carrier solution enhanced the permeation of U(VI) across the SLM in the following order: TEHP ∼ TBP > TOPO using 0.1 M oxalic acid as receiver phase. There was significant enhancement in uranium transport for feed acidity ≤2 M HNO3 employing 1 M Na2CO3 as the receiver phase. These studies suggested that 0.1 M PC88A and 0.5 M oxalic acid as carrier and receiver phases appear suitable for selective and faster transport of uranium from the uranyl nitrate raffinate (UNR) waste solutions.

Keywords: PC88A; membrane; synergism; transport; uranium

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01496395.2010.520294

Affiliations: 1: Uranium Extraction Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, India 2: Radiochemistry Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, India

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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