STP824: New Solvent Extraction Process for Zirconium and Hafnium

    Takahashi, M
    General manager, senior chemical engineer, and researcher, Technical Research Center, Nippon Mining Co., Ltd., Toda-shi, Saitama-ken,

    Miyazaki, H
    General manager, senior chemical engineer, and researcher, Technical Research Center, Nippon Mining Co., Ltd., Toda-shi, Saitama-ken,

    Katoh, Y
    General manager, senior chemical engineer, and researcher, Technical Research Center, Nippon Mining Co., Ltd., Toda-shi, Saitama-ken,

    Pages: 12    Published: Jan 1984


    Abstract

    The authors' company developed a new solvent extraction process for zirconium and hafnium separation, and started production of zirconium sponge by this new process in September 1979.

    The process utilizes selective extraction of zirconium oxysulfate using high-molecular alkyl amine, and has the following advantages:

    1. This extraction system has a separation factor as high as 10 to 20 for zirconium and hafnium in the range of suitable acid concentration.

    2. In the scrubbing section, removal of all the hafnium that coexists with zirconium in the organic solvent can be effectively accomplished by using scrubbing solution containing hafnium-free zirconium sulfate. Consequently, hafnium in the zirconium sponge obtained is reduced to less than 50 ppm.

    3. The extractant undergoes no chemical changes but is very stable for a long period. In particular, its solubility in water is small, about 20 ppm maximum, posing no environmental pollution problems such as are often caused by other process raffinates.

    At the present time, the zirconium and hafnium separation operation is very stable, and zirconium sponge made by this process can be applied satisfactorily to nuclear reactors.

    Keywords:

    zirconium, hafnium, solvent extraction, separation, amine, oxysulfate


    Paper ID: STP34460S

    Committee/Subcommittee: B10.02

    DOI: 10.1520/STP34460S


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