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Actinide extraction methods

United States Patent

September 21, 2010
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Idaho National Laboratory - Visit the Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office Website
Methods of separating actinides from lanthanides are disclosed. A regio-specific/stereo-specific dithiophosphinic acid having organic moieties is provided in an organic solvent that is then contacted with an acidic medium containing an actinide and a lanthanide. The method can extend to separating actinides from one another. Actinides are extracted as a complex with the dithiophosphinic acid. Separation compositions include an aqueous phase, an organic phase, dithiophosphinic acid, and at least one actinide. The compositions may include additional actinides and/or lanthanides. A method of producing a dithiophosphinic acid comprising at least two organic moieties selected from aromatics and alkyls, each moiety having at least one functional group is also disclosed. A source of sulfur is reacted with a halophosphine. An ammonium salt of the dithiophosphinic acid product is precipitated out of the reaction mixture. The precipitated salt is dissolved in ether. The ether is removed to yield the dithiophosphinic acid.
Peterman; Dean R. (Idaho Falls, ID), Klaehn; John R. (Idaho Falls, ID), Harrup; Mason K. (Idaho Falls, ID), Tillotson; Richard D. (Moore, ID), Law; Jack D. (Pocatello, ID)
Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC (Idaho Falls, ID)
11/ 530,508
September 11, 2006
GOVERNMENT RIGHTS This invention was made with government support under DE-AC07-05ID14517 awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.