Hydrolysis of uranyl-, Nd-, Ce-ions and their mixtures by thermal decomposition of urea

Christian Schreinemachers, Olivier Bollen, Gregory Leinders, Václav Tyrpekl, Giuseppe Modolo, Marc Verwerft, Koen Binnemans, Thomas Cardinaels

Research outputpeer-review


The hydrolysis of uranyl-, Nd- and Ce-cations, induced by thermal decomposition of urea was investigated and the impact of the urea content and the experiment temperature on the reaction kinetics was evaluated. Uranyl precipitated as ammonium diuranate (ADU) with varying stoichiometry. Nd(III) and Ce(III) showed comparable pH evolutions and lanthanide carbonate hydroxide (LnCO3OH) products were identified, whereas Ce(IV) hydrolysed at lower pH and formed CeO2. The precipitation behaviour was confirmed for mixtures of uranyl and the lanthanides. Depending on the urea content, a partial co-precipitation occurred in U/Nd mixtures. The phases formed with Ce(III) and Ce(IV) were also identified in the precipitates of binary U/Ce mixtures. In ternary U/Nd/Ce compositions, a simultaneous precipitation of Nd(III) and Ce(III) was observed and a partial incorporation of the lanthanides into the ADU phase, whereas the precipitation in the presence of Ce(IV)/CeO2 led to the formation of three individual phases.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere202100453
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean journal of inorganic chemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - 8 Feb 2022

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