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  • 1 Research and Design Institute for Rare and Radioactive Metals Strada Atomistilor nr. 51, Sector 1 Cod 76900 Bucharest Romania
  • | 2 University Politechnical Institute Industrial Chemistry Faculty Strada Polizu nr. 1, Sector 1 Bucharest Romania
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Abstract  

Natural phosphates are used on large scale in the fertilizer industry. The usual process of the chemical attack is sulfuric (predominant) and nitric acids. The liquid phosphoric acid phase resulted contains dissolved valuable elements like: uranium and rare earths elements (REEs). Uranium and REEs are recovered in some technologies as valuable products. It is therefore important to know, uranium and REEs content in natural phosphates in view to decide on their recovery. In this paper determinations were carried out to find the uranium and REEs contents. The concentrations involved are low, therefore, it is difficult to find a classical reliable method without incurring important losses, i. e., errors. In this work uranium and REEs were determined by physical methods like: neutron activation analysis (NAA), emission spectroscopy, mass spark spectrometry and X-ray fluorescence. The results obtained were acceptable and intercomparison between various methods was carried out. It was found that most reliable results were given by mass spark spectrometry and activation analysis. The data resulted are in good agreement with uranium and REEs in the green cake (uranium tetrafluoride) and in the REEs concentrate obtained by solvent, extraction from phosphoric acid.