Highly efficient uptake of tetravalent actinide ions from nitric acid feeds using an extraction chromatography material containing tetra-n-butyl diglycolamide and a room temperature ionic liquid

Akalesh G. Yadav, Rajesh B. Gujar, Prasanta K. Mohapatra*, Thichur P. Valsala, Darshan B. Sathe, Raj B. Bhatt, Willem Verboom

*Corresponding author for this work

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An extraction chromatography (XC) material containing N,N,N’,N’-tetra-n-butyl diglycolamide (TBDGA) and 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethanesulphonyl) imide (C4mim∙NTf2), a room temperature ionic liquid, was used for the uptake of the tetravalent actinide ions Th(IV), Np(IV), and Pu(IV) from nitric acid feed solutions. The uptake of the metal ions followed the trend: Th(IV) < Np(IV) < Pu(IV), which is the same as that of their ionic potential values. While a decrease in the Np(IV) and Pu(IV) uptake was seen with increasing HNO3 concentration at lower acidities, an opposite trend was observed at higher acidities. Th(IV) uptake was not affected with the acid concentration. In view of the very high uptake and its importance in the nuclear fuel cycle, the major part of the studies was carried out with Pu(IV) ion. The loaded Pu(IV) was back extracted from the XC material using a mixture of 0.5 M oxalic acid and 0.5 M nitric acid. The Pu(IV) uptake by the XC material was fitted into different kinetic and isotherm models. The results conformed to the pseudo-second order kinetic model and the Langmuir monolayer sorption model. Column studies were carried out using a feed having 1.6 mg/L Pu solution in 3 M HNO3. While the breakthrough was obtained after passing ca. nine bed volumes, a sharp elution peak was obtained with >99% recovery in about seven bed volumes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number462501
JournalJournal of chromatography A
Early online date28 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2021


  • Diglycolamide
  • Extraction chromatography
  • Ionic liquid
  • Plutonium(IV)
  • 22/2 OA procedure

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