Polymer inclusion membranes (PIM) containing N,N,N′,N′-tetra(2-ethylhexyl) diglycolamide (T2EHDGA) were evaluated for the separation of actinide ions such as Am3+, Pu4+, UO22+ and Th4+ from acidic feeds. The PIMs were prepared using cellulose triacetate (CTA) as the polymer matrix, 2-nitrophenyloctyl ether (NPOE) as the plasticizer and T2EHDGA as the carrier extractant and the optimized membrane composition was found to be 68.4% T2EHDGA, 17.9% NPOE and 13.7% CTA which resulted in 74% Am3+ uptake at 1 M HNO3 in 2 h. The uptake studies were carried out using feed solutions containing varying concentrations of nitric acid (0.5–3.0 M) and showed the trend: Pu4+ > Am3+ > Th4+ > UO22+. Quantitative stripping (> 99%) of the sorbed Am3+ was possible using a solution containing 0.01 M EDTA at pH 3.0. Reusability studies indicated deterioration of the PIM on continuous use.
The authors (DRR, BNM and PKM) thank Dr. A. Goswami, Head Radiochemistry Division, BARC for his constant encouragement.
©2015 Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston