Hexanoic acid as an alternative diluent in a GANEX process: feasibility study
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2014

Used nuclear fuel is radiotoxic for mankind and its environment for a long time. However, if it can be transmuted, the radiotoxicity as well as its heat load are reduced. Before a transmutation the actinides within the used fuel need to be separated from the fission, corrosion and activation products. This separation can be achieved by using the liquid–liquid extraction technique. One extraction process that can be used for such a separation is the Group ActiNide EXtraction (GANEX) process. One GANEX process that can successfully accomplish the separation utilizes the diluent cyclohexanone in combination with the extractant tributylphosphate (TBP) (30 % vol) and a second extractant, CyMe4-BTBP (10 mM). However, there are some issues when using cyclohexanone as diluent. In this work an alternative diluent has therefore been tried in order to determine if it can replace cyclohexanone. The diluent used was hexanoic acid. In a system containing 10–12 mM CyMe4-BTBP and 30 % vol TBP in hexanoic acid with the aqueous phase 4 M HNO3, the distribution ratios for americium and curium are unfortunately low (DAm = 1.1 ± 0.27, DCm = 1.6 ± 1.81). The concentration of CyMe4-BTBP ligand, the extractant of curium and americium, could unfortunately not be increased, because of limited solubility in hexanoic acid. The distribution ratios for fission, corrosion and activation products were low for most metals; however, cadmium, palladium and molybdenum all unfortunately have distributions ratios above 1. To conclude, low americium and curium extractions indicate that hexanoic acid is not a suitable diluent which could replace cyclohexanone in a GANEX process

Solvent extraction




Elin Löfström Engdahl

Chalmers, Kemi- och bioteknik, Kärnkemi

Emma Aneheim

Chalmers, Kemi- och bioteknik, Kärnkemi

Gunnar Skarnemark

Chalmers, Kemi- och bioteknik, Kärnkemi

Mark Foreman

Chalmers, Kemi- och bioteknik, Kärnkemi

Christian Ekberg

Chalmers, Kemi- och bioteknik, Kärnkemi

Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry

0236-5731 (ISSN) 1588-2780 (eISSN)

Vol. 290 3 1261-1266


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