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  • 1 Azad Jammu and Kashmir University Department of Chemistry Muzaffarabad (Pakistan)
  • 2 Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology Nuclear Chemistry Division P.O. Nilore Islamabad (Pakistan)
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Abstract  

The solvent extraction of thorium(IV) (4.3·10–4M) from nitric acid solution by bis-2-(butoxyethyl ether) (butex or DBC) has been studied. It has been investigated as a function of nitric acid, extractant and metal ion concentration. The effect of equilibration time, diverse ions and salting-out agent on the extraction has also been examined. Among anions, fluoride, phosphate, oxalate and perchlorate have reduced the extraction. Cations such as Na(I), K(I), Ca(II), Zn(II), Al(III), Ti(IV), Zr(IV) except Sr(II) and Pb(II) do not interfere in the extraction. The extraction is enhanced upto 97% in three stages at 6M HNO3 having 2.94M NaNO3 as salting-out agent. The extraction is found to be independent of thorium concentration in the range studied (4.3·10–4–4.3·10–2M). The temperature (18–45°C) has an adverse effect on the extraction. A 1% solution of ammonium bifluoride is found to be a good stripping solution and recovery of thorium is >98%.