Selective separation of americium from europium using 2,9-bis(triazine)-1,10-phenanthrolines in ionic liquids: a new twist on an old story†
Bis-triazine phenanthrolines have shown great promise for f-block metal separations, attributable to their highly preorganized structure, nitrogen donors, and more enhanced covalent bonding with actinides over lanthanides. However, their limited solubility in traditional solvents remains a technological bottleneck. Herein we report our recent work using a simple 2,9-bis(triazine)-1,10-phenanthroline (Me-BTPhen) dissolved in an ionic liquid (IL), demonstrating the efficacy of IL extraction systems for the selective separation of americium from europium, achieving separation factors in excess of 7500 and selectively removing up to 99% of the americium. Characterization of the coordination environment was performed using a combination of X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy (XAFS) and density functional theory (DFT) calculations.