Removal of plutonium and americium from waste matrices by supercritical carbon dioxide extraction

R. Kumar, N. Sivaraman, K. Sujatha, T. G. Srinivasan,  and P. R. Vasudeva Rao

The extraction of plutonium from tissue paper matrix was carried out using supercritical carbon dioxide (Sc-CO2). The removal of plutonium was also studied from other matrices such as teflon, glass and stainless steel. Initial experiments were carried out under subcritical conditions. Supercritical extraction conditions were also employed in some experiments for the recovery of plutonium from tissue paper matrix. Complete extraction of Pu(III) as well as Pu(IV) in their nitrate form from tissue paper was achieved for the first time using supercritical carbon dioxide modified with n-octyl(phenyl)-N,N-diisobutyl carbamoylmethyl phosphine oxide (φCMPO) in methanol. Pu(IV) was also completely removed from other matrices such as teflon, stainless steel and glass. Studies on the extraction of Am(III) using supercritical carbon dioxide modified with CMPO in methanol resulted in its complete recovery from tissue paper.

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Radiochimica Acta publishes original papers, review articles, and “rapid communications” (short articles of a more timely interest) on all chemical aspects of nuclear science and technology. The journal is geared toward scientists who are actively engaged in research work.

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