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Issue 39, 2011
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The application of novel hydrophobic ionic liquids to the extraction of uranium(VI) from nitric acid medium and a determination of the uranyl complexes formed

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Abstract

Novel ammonium based hydrophobic ionic liquids (ILs) have been synthesised and characterised, and their use in the liquid–liquid extraction of uranium(VI) from an aqueous nitric acid solution using tri-n-butyl phosphate (TBP), studied. On varying the nitric acid concentration, each IL was found to give markedly different results. Relatively hydrophilic ILs showed high uranium(VI) extractability at 0.01 M nitric acid solution which progressively decreased from 0.01 to 2 M HNO3 and then increased again as the nitric acid concentration was increased to 6 M. An analysis of the mechanisms involved for one such IL, pointed to cationic-exchange being the predominant route at low nitric acid concentrations whilst at high nitric acid concentrations, anionic-exchange predominated. Strongly hydrophobic ILs showed low extractability for nitric acid concentrations below 0.1 M but increasing extractability from 0.1 M to 6 M nitric acid. The predominant mechanism in this case involved the partitioning of a neutral uranyl complex. The uranyl complexes were found to be UO22+·(TBP)3 for the cationic exchange mechanism, UO2(NO3)2(TBP)2 for the neutral mechanism and UO2(NO3)3·(TBP) for the anionic exchange mechanism.

Graphical abstract: The application of novel hydrophobic ionic liquids to the extraction of uranium(vi) from nitric acid medium and a determination of the uranyl complexes formed

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Publication details

The article was received on 26 Apr 2011, accepted on 04 Aug 2011 and first published on 02 Sep 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C1DT10755K
Citation: Dalton Trans., 2011,40, 10125-10130
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    The application of novel hydrophobic ionic liquids to the extraction of uranium(VI) from nitric acid medium and a determination of the uranyl complexes formed

    T. J. Bell and Y. Ikeda, Dalton Trans., 2011, 40, 10125
    DOI: 10.1039/C1DT10755K

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