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  • 1 Center for Marine Research “Rudjer Bošković” Institute Zagreb (Yugoslavia)
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The discontinuous counter current extraction separation of radioactive traces of rare earth elements from each other was successfully performed by using a 96 stage automatic microscale counter current apparatus. Choice of the optimum composition of the aqueous phase (var. HNO3 conc.) and organic phase [di-(2-ethylhexyl) phosphoric acid (HDEHP) in toluene] was made on the basis of the results of liquid-liquid extraction measurements. Providing sufficient content of HDEHP in the organic phase, the presence of macroamounts of uranium(VI) did not interfere with the individual separation of rare earth traces. Consequently, uranium was retained in the organic phase, while separated rare earth traces were redistributed into the aqueous phase. The methods of liquid-liquid extraction and extraction chromatography based on the use of HDEHP were compared. The present results confirm that the liquid-liquid extraction has the advantage to be selective for the separation of rare earth traces from each other and from the macroamount of uranium(VI).