Selective separation of radium and uranium from aqueous solutions by Chelex-100
Symeopoulos, B. D.
SourceJournal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
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The affinity of Chelex-100 for radium has been investigated as a function of pH and salinity compared to the Chelex-100 affinity for uranium to assess possible application of the resin for the selective separation of the two naturally occurring radionuclides from aqueous solutions. According to the experimental data the maximum chemical recovery of Chelex-100 is observed for uranium at pH 5 and for radium at pH 3 indicating a pH controlled selectivity of the resin for the two radionuclides. Moreover, the effect of salinity on the chemical recovery of radium is significant, resulting in a dramatic decrease of the former with increasing salinity. On the other hand, there is almost no effect of the salinity on the chemical recovery of uranium, indicating the higher affinity of Chelex-100 for uranium, which could be attributed to the formation of inner-sphere complexes of U(VI) with the iminoacetic moieties of the resin. The method has been successfully applied for the uranium separation from a radionuclide mixture. © 2011 Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary.