Method for the Stoichiometric recovery of UF4 from UF6 dissolved directrly into ionic liquid


Described herein are methods for recovering uranium tetrafluoride (UF4) from uranium hexafluoride (UF6) by directly dissolving UF6 in ionic liquids and recovering UF4, which can be processed to obtain UO2 (s) or uranium metal.

Inventors: David Hatchett

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: 

Method for converting uranium hexafluoride (UFe) to uranium tetrafluoride (UF4), comprising dissolving UF6 directly into a room temperature ionic liquid at concentrations of 0.01 M to 3.0 M; incubating the solution for a period of time; and adding water to the solution to precipitate solid UF4.


  • There is a need for methods to convert reactive UF6 into more stable uranium compounds that can be utilized in subsequent applications.
  • The dissolution occurs through a spontaneous chemical process that involves the reduction of uranium hexafluoride by the ionic liquid anion. The resulting product is UF4, which is very stable and relatively benign as compared to the reactive and volatile UF6.
  • The process provides a novel, safe, path for the conversion of uranium hexafluoride to more useful uranium materials.

Market Opportunity: 

  • According to Data Bridge Market Research, the industry is anticipated to reach 84.59M by 2029 with a CAGR of 9.8%. The chemical sector is expected to boost demand for ionic liquids. Also according to DBMR, “Growing applications of solvents and catalysts, unique properties of ionic liquids, rising demand from the extractions and separations sector, and growing environmental awareness about green solvents are some of the factors that will likely drive market growth. On the other hand, the association for application commercialization will promote various opportunities that will lead to market growth during the forecast period”.

Intellectual property:

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
John Minnick
Business Development Officer
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
David Hatchett
Cassara Higgins
Energy & Environment
Energy & Environment - Renewable Energy
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