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Separation of protactinum, actinium, and other radionuclides from proton irradiated thorium target

United States Patent

April 24, 2018
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Los Alamos National Laboratory - Visit the Technology Transfer Division Website
Protactinium, actinium, radium, radiolanthanides and other radionuclide fission products were separated and recovered from a proton-irradiated thorium target. The target was dissolved in concentrated HCl, which formed anionic complexes of protactinium but not with thorium, actinium, radium, or radiolanthanides. Protactinium was separated from soluble thorium by loading a concentrated HCl solution of the target onto a column of strongly basic anion exchanger resin and eluting with concentrated HCl. Actinium, radium and radiolanthanides elute with thorium. The protactinium that is retained on the column, along with other radionuclides, is eluted may subsequently treated to remove radionuclide impurities to afford a fraction of substantially pure protactinium. The eluate with the soluble thorium, actinium, radium and radiolanthanides may be subjected to treatment with citric acid to form anionic thorium, loaded onto a cationic exchanger resin, and eluted. Actinium, radium and radiolanthanides that are retained can be subjected to extraction chromatography to separate the actinium from the radium and from the radio lanthanides.
Fassbender; Michael E. (Los Alamos, NM), Radchenko; Valery (Los Alamos, NM)
Los Alamos National Security, LLC (Los Alamos, NM)
14/ 681,320
April 8, 2015
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERAL RIGHTS This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-AC52-06NA25396 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.