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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 2. Chelating resins

Ang, K.L., Li, D. and Nikoloski, A.N. (2018) The effectiveness of ion exchange resins in separating uranium and thorium from rare earth elements in acidic aqueous sulfate media. Part 2. Chelating resins. Minerals Engineering, 123 . pp. 8-15.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mineng.2018.04.017
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Abstract

Chelating 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 candidate resins included a bis-picolylamine resin, aminophosphonic resins, iminodiacetic resins, and solvent-impregnated resins. The adsorption selectivity of these resins towards 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 (or pH ≥ 1). Depending on their functional groups, the chelating resins displayed varying selectivity towards U(VI), Th(IV) and RE(III). It was found that the iminodiacetic resins exhibited the highest affinity for U(VI) and Th(IV) over RE(III). At 0.005 mol/L H2SO4 (or pH 2), the adsorptions of U(VI) and Th(IV) were approximately 90% while adsorption of RE(III) was less than 20%. This can be explained by considering the coordination chemistry of the resins whereby molecular ligands with N- and O-donor atoms were demonstrated to adsorb both U(VI) and Th(IV) strongly. Comparing the different O-donor groups (i.e., sulfonyl, phosphoryl and carboxyl), the carboxyl group from the iminodiacetic resin gave the best separation of U(VI) and Th(IV) from RE(III). The performance of the solvent-impregnated resins has indicated the possibility of exploiting steric effects to obtain a highly selective chelating resin for U(VI) and Th(IV) over RE(III). In addition, the potential application of these resins in an integrated process for sequential 2-stage separation of U(VI) and Th(IV) from RE(III) in sulfuric acid media is also presented.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Information Technology
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2018 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/40803
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