Conversion of Uranium Hexaflouride and Recovery of Uranium from Ionic Liquid (improved method)


Described are methods for the recovery of uranium from uranium hexafluoride dissolved directly into ionic liquids.

Inventors: David Hatchett & Kenneth R. Czerwinski

Czerwinski: Current projects include speciation of actinides in spent fuel, chemical speciation of actinides in separations, nuclear forensics, and radioelement compounds and material synthesis.

Hatchett: His expertise includes Electrochemistry, Materials, Chemical Sensor, Catalysis. On top of that, his research focuses on electrochemistry of materials with applications in fuel cell catalysis, lanthanide/actinide materials, and polymer metal composites.

The Invention: The dissolution of uranium hexafluoride in inert ionic liquid is demonstrated to provide a safe path for the conversion of the highly reactive materials to useful products. The recovery of useful uranium materials can be achieved through multiple processes to recover different chemical species. The recovery of uranium tetrafluoride, uranium oxides, uranium precipitate, and uranium metals can be achieved directly from the ionic liquid. The process provides a novel, safe, path for the conversion of uranium hexafluoride to more useful uranium materials


  • Safe method of conversion versus other methods
  • Provides paths to reclaim U materials safely
  • Recover chemical and electrochemical recovery of U materials from Uranium Hexafluoride safely. 
  • Current need to convert metric tons due to aging storage vessels. 

Market Opportunity: 

  • There has been a significant growth of the use of ionic liquids in multiple industries and their market is valued at about $40.M in 2021 and anticipated to reach $84M by 2029. The projected CAGR is 9.8% during this period. As for the Uranium demand the market is also expected to grow, “The Reference Scenario of the 2021 edition of the World Nuclear Association's Nuclear Fuel Report shows a 27% increase in uranium demand over 2021-30”. 

Intellectual property:

  • Demonstrated bench top conversion and recovery
Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
John Minnick
Business Development Officer
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
David Hatchett
Kenneth Czerwinski
Katherine Luebke (formerly Thornock)
Cassara Higgins
Energy & Environment - Renewable Energy
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