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  • 1 Bechtel BWXT Idaho, LLC P. O. Box 1625 Idaho Falls ID 83415-5218 USA
  • | 2 Czech Technical University in Prague Břehova 7 CS-115 19 Prague Czech Republic
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A novel approach to preparing granular sorbents for the separation of actinides has been developed, where the extractant is directly immobilized in an inert matrix. This allows substantially higher extractant loadings in the sorbent than for conventional extraction chromatography resins. This approach utilizes polyacrylonitrile (PAN) as the inert matrix material. The well-known actinide extractant octyl (phenyl)-N,N-diisobutylcarbamoylmethylphosphine oxide (CMPO) has been loaded into sorbent granules at extractant loadings from 20 to 33 wt.% CMPO. The porosity of the PAN matrix allows the active material to have rapid and complete access to the solution containing the impurities, resulting in improved kinetics and higher sorption capacities. Sorbents containing CMPO were prepared using PAN as a binding matrix, and tested against commercially available actinide extraction chromatography resins. Direct comparative batch contact tests performed with TRU-ResinÒ and CMPO-PAN using an INEEL tank waste simulant, resulting in distribution coefficient (Kd) values for Am approximately 2-90 times higher for CMPO-PAN than for TRU-Resin. Batch distribution coefficient (Kd) values for Pu were approximately 60-150 times higher for CMPO-PAN than for the TRU-Resin. Acid dependency curves were generated for Am and Pu with CMPO-PAN over a concentration range of 1 mM to 5M HNO3.