American Chemical Society
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Anion Exchange Resins for the Selective Separation of Technetium from Uranium in Carbonate Solutions

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posted on 2016-02-20, 15:04 authored by Kristy M. Long, George S. Goff, Stuart D. Ware, Gordon D. Jarvinen, Wolfgang H. Runde
In alkaline carbonate solutions both technetium and uranium exist as anionic species, TcO4 and UO2(CO3)34–, which makes separating Tc and U from each other more challenging compared to acidic PUREX type solutions where uranium forms neutral or cationic complexes. We tested the batch separation of 99Tc, 238U, and 239Pu from carbonate solutions using anion exchange resins with different properties, including Purolite A530E, Reillex HPQ, and Dowex Marathon WBA. Overall, the highest Kd values for pertechnetate were achieved using the strong base resins in solutions of the lowest carbonate concentration. Pretreating the resins in higher carbonate concentrations before use was shown to increase the Kd values for pertechnetate. The measured Kd values for uranium generally were low, resulting in high selectivity for the separation of pertechnetate from uranium in carbonate solutions.