Nowadays selective separation processes are sought after more than ever before. They are indispensable to meet the growing demand for individual rare earth elements, minor actinides partitioned from fission-produced lanthanides, as well as, overall, more concentrated and high-purity products. This research focuses on such separation techniques as solvent extraction which is currently the dominant technology in hydrometallurgy.
In terms of the development of solvent extraction processes, multiple approaches have been explored worldwide to address the chemically challenging separations.
One of them is the development of novel selective ligands. We have done extensive research on some newly synthesized bis-lactam-phenanthroline- and diglycolamide-based ligands. Aiming to see, for the first time, their performance in f-element separation and to understand its driving forces, characterization of stoichiometric solvates and metal‐ion transfer under different conditions was made.
In line with another approach based on extraction mixtures, we studied the aggregation within metal-, water-, and nitric acid-loaded organic phases which consisted of diglycolamides and organophosphorus acids. The aggregation was probed with small-scale solvent extraction tests using radiotracers, FT-IR spectroscopy, small-angle X-ray scattering, tensiometry, and various titrations quantifying the transfer of solutes into organic phase. opment of separation technologies, particularly, for the recovery of rare earth and partitioning for advanced nuclear fuel cycles.