Separation of americium from highly active raffinates by an innovative variant of the AmSel process based on the ionic liquid Aliquat-336 nitrate

Filip Kolesar, Karen Van Hecke, Peter Zsabka, Koen Binnemans, Thomas Cardinaels

Research outputpeer-review


A new variant of the AmSel (Americium Selective Separation) system for the separation of Am(III) from a PUREX raffinate was tested in which the aliphatic diluent was replaced by the ionic liquid Aliquat-336 nitrate. For this ionic liquid variant, the kinetics, and the influence of both the HNO3 concentration and the ligand concentration on the stripping were evaluated. In addition, both the original AmSel system, and the ionic liquid variant were demonstrated on a simulated highly active raffinate. The introduction of Aliquat-336 nitrate results in an improved separation between Am(III) and the fission products, in particularly for the light lanthanides and strontium. The Am/Cm separation factors of the ionic liquid variant were found to remain similar to the original AmSel process. Despite the improved separation, slower stripping kinetics were observed and extraction of the SO3-Ph-BTBP complexant to the Aliquat 336 nitrate phase occurred at low HNO3 concentrations during the stripping step. However, adequate mitigation actions to counteract these issues were found and applied.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36322-36336
Number of pages15
JournalRSC Advances
Issue number51
StatePublished - 12 Dec 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Chemistry

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