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Natural fluorapatite samples were contacted with uranyl nitrate solutions (from 10−2 to 10−6M), adjusted to pH 6.0, then, shaken for times varying between 15 minutes to 72 hours, at room temperature. After that, the solid and liquid phases were separated by centrifugation and the solid was dried at 80°C overnight. The uranium analysis of the solid samples and solutions revealed that uranium was incorporated over fluorapatite. Selected solid samples produced by contacting treatments were analyzed by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) techniques. XRD patterns showed the growth of uranyl species in the fluorapatite. Imaging by SEM at 20000x showed the location of uranyl compounds in a crystalline layer in the surface of fluorapatite grains. This layer was well defined for the 10−2 M of U-contacting solution, but a saturation value was attained at 64% of uranium uptake yield. In the case of 10−4 M and lower U-contacting solution, the uranium uptake yield was near of 90% after 45 minutes. This fact suggests that natural fluorapatite has excellent properties to immobilize uranium compounds in a solution. Afterwards, the pregnant fluorapatite mineral was regenerated using an alkaline-leaching process. The uranium separated in this way is concentrated and can be handled to a final disposition.

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Journal of Radionalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Language English
Size A4
Year of
per Year
per Year
Founder Akadémiai Kiadó
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
Publisher Akadémiai Kiadó
Springer Nature Switzerland AG
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
CH-6330 Cham, Switzerland Gewerbestrasse 11.
Chief Executive Officer, Akadémiai Kiadó
ISSN 0236-5731 (Print)
ISSN 1588-2780 (Online)