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The effectiveness of ion exchange resins in separating uranium and thorium from rare earth elements in acidic aqueous sulfate media. Part 1. Anionic and cationic resins

Ang, K.L., Li, D. and Nikoloski, A.N. (2017) The effectiveness of ion exchange resins in separating uranium and thorium from rare earth elements in acidic aqueous sulfate media. Part 1. Anionic and cationic resins. Hydrometallurgy, 174 . pp. 147-155.

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Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hydromet.2017.10.011
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Abstract

Conventional ion exchange resins with different functional groups were evaluated for their potential application in separating uranium U(VI) and thorium Th(IV) from rare earth elements RE(III). The resins studied comprised strong- and weak-base anion exchange resins, and strong- and weak-acid cation exchange resins. The selectivity of these resins to adsorb U(VI) and Th(IV) in the presence of selected RE(III) was examined in sulfuric acid media of varying concentrations. It was evident that the adsorption performance of the resins was acid concentration-dependent. Most candidate resins had potentially feasible selective adsorption at or below 0.1 mol/L H2SO4 (pH ≥ 0.7). Within the group of anion exchange resins, both the strong- and weak-base resins exhibited a similar selectivity with U(VI) adsorbed in preference to RE(III). The difference between them was their adsorption of Th(IV). The weak-base resin with primary amine functional group demonstrated superior separation of Th(IV) from RE(III). For this resin, 78% of U(VI) and 68% of Th(IV) were adsorbed while RE(III) co-adsorption was < 5% at 0.0005 mol/L H2SO4 (pH 3). In the case of the strong-acid cation exchange resins, Th(IV) and RE(III) were adsorbed in preference to U(VI), i.e., RE(III) > Th(IV) >> U(VI). The weak-acid cation exchange resins, on the other hand, displayed limited adsorption of all elements.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Information Technology
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2017 Elsevier B.V.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/38825
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