Multitracer studies on the permeation of rare earth elements through a supported liquid membrane containing 2-ethylhexyl phosphonic acid-2-ethylhexyl ester (EHEHPA)

Shizuko Ambe, Daisuke Abe, Takuo Ozaki and Fumitoshi Ambe


The simultaneous permeation of Sc, Y, Ce, Pm, Eu, Gd, Yb and Lu through a 2-ethylhexyl phosphonic acid-2-ethylhexyl ester (EHEHPA)-decalin membrane supported on a microporous polytetrafluoroethylene sheet was studied using a multitracer. The permeation rates of the elements from feed solutions of various acidity into receiving solutions of 2mol dm-3 HCl were determined. The feed solution at pH 1.5 gave the highest percentage of permeation for Ce, Pm, Eu, Gd and Yb, amounting to about 90 after -25h permeation. The percentage of permeation of Y and Lu was the highest at pH 1, amounting to about 90 after -25h permeation. The permeation of Sc from all the feed solutions was less than 4 due to its adsorption on the vessel. The permeation from the feed solution at pH 1.5 into the receiving solutions of 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5mol dm-3 HCl showed that the maximum percentage of transport for Y and Yb was obtained in 2mol dm-3 HCl receiving solution and that for Lu in 2-4mol dm-3 HCl receiving solutions. The other elements gave a percentage of transport more than 90 in 1-5mol dm-3 HCl receiving solutions, showing no obvious HCl concentration effect. The permeability coefficients of these elements were determined. Solvent extraction of the elements by EHEHPA-decalin was also carried out for comparison.

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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.