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Supported liquid inorganic membranes for nuclear waste separation

United States Patent

April 7, 2015
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Oak Ridge National Laboratory - Visit the Partnerships Directorate Website
A system and method for the extraction of americium from radioactive waste solutions. The method includes the transfer of highly oxidized americium from an acidic aqueous feed solution through an immobilized liquid membrane to an organic receiving solvent, for example tributyl phosphate. The immobilized liquid membrane includes porous support and separating layers loaded with tributyl phosphate. The extracted solution is subsequently stripped of americium and recycled at the immobilized liquid membrane as neat tributyl phosphate for the continuous extraction of americium. The sequestered americium can be used as a nuclear fuel, a nuclear fuel component or a radiation source, and the remaining constituent elements in the aqueous feed solution can be stored in glassified waste forms substantially free of americium.
Bhave; Ramesh R. (Knoxville, TN), DeBusk; Melanie M. (Knoxville, TN), DelCul; Guillermo D. (Powell, TN), Delmau; Laetitia H. (Oakridge, TN), Narula; Chaitanya K. (Knoxville, TN)
UT-Battelle, LLC (Oak Ridge, TN)
13/ 284,174
October 28, 2011
This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-AC05-00OR22725 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.