Authors:V. Rao, I. Pius, M. Subbarao, A. Chinnusamy, and P. Natarajan
A method for the precipitation of plutonium(IV) oxalate from homogeneous solutions using diethyl oxalate is reported. The precipitate obtained is crystalline and easily filterable with yields in the range of 92–98% for precipitations involving a few mg to g quantities of plutonium. Decontamination factors for common impurities such as U(VI), Am(III) and Fe(III) were determined. TGA and chemical analysis of the compound indicate its composition as Pu(C2O4)2·6H2O. Data are obtained on the solubility of the oxalate in nitric acid and in mixtures of nitric acid and oxalic acid of varying concentrations. Green PuO2 obtained by calcination of the oxalate has specifications within the recommended values for trace foreign substances such as chlorine, fluorine, carbon and nitrogen.