Extraction of Technetium from Uranium


Invention Summary

A spent fuel reprocessing method contacts an aqueous solution containing technetium(V) and uranyl with an acidic solution comprising hydroxylamine hydrochloride or acetohydroxamic acid (AHA) to reduce technetium(V) to technetium(II), and then extracts the uranyl with an organic phase, leaving technetium(II) in aqueous solution.


Market Opportunity

The method provides a resource from which technetium can be recovered for other applications. Technetium is a silvery-gray metal that tarnishes slowly in moist air, and is a corrosion inhibitor for steel. The metal is a good superconductor at 11K and below. Removal of technetium from spent nuclear fuel is warranted because of safety considerations in waste processing and environmental risks associated with long-term storage of waste.


Features & Benefits

● Adoption of the technique achieves the separation of uranium from technetium without the need for additional equipment or the addition of new reagents, with the requirements they need for safety assessment.


● The resulting technetium(II) is not extracted by tributylphosphate (TBP). It is difficult to separate uranium from technetium using TBP solvent extraction from aqueous mineral acid.


Intellectual Property        Patent No.: 7,854,907


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Zachary Miles
Associate Vice President for Economic Development
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Kenneth Czerwinski
Cynthia-May Gong
Frederic Poineau
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