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Title: Room temperature electrodeposition of actinides from ionic solutions

Abstract

Uranic and transuranic metals and metal oxides are first dissolved in ozone compositions. The resulting solution in ozone can be further dissolved in ionic liquids to form a second solution. The metals in the second solution are then electrochemically deposited from the second solutions as room temperature ionic liquid (RTIL), tri-methyl-n-butyl ammonium n-bis(trifluoromethansulfonylimide) [Me.sub.3N.sup.nBu][TFSI] providing an alternative non-aqueous system for the extraction and reclamation of actinides from reprocessed fuel materials. Deposition of U metal is achieved using TFSI complexes of U(III) and U(IV) containing the anion common to the RTIL. TFSI complexes of uranium were produced to ensure solubility of the species in the ionic liquid. The methods provide a first measure of the thermodynamic properties of U metal deposition using Uranium complexes with different oxidation states from RTIL solution at room temperature.

Inventors:
; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1353071
Patent Number(s):
9,631,290
Application Number:
13/764,282
Assignee:
THE BOARD OF REGENTS OF THE NEVADA SYSTEM OF HIGHER EDUCATION ON BEHALF OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA, LAS VEGAS INL
DOE Contract Number:
AC07-05ID14517; FC07-06ID14781
Resource Type:
Patent
Resource Relation:
Patent File Date: 2013 Feb 11
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY

Citation Formats

Hatchett, David W., Czerwinski, Kenneth R., Droessler, Janelle, and Kinyanjui, John. Room temperature electrodeposition of actinides from ionic solutions. United States: N. p., 2017. Web.
Hatchett, David W., Czerwinski, Kenneth R., Droessler, Janelle, & Kinyanjui, John. Room temperature electrodeposition of actinides from ionic solutions. United States.
Hatchett, David W., Czerwinski, Kenneth R., Droessler, Janelle, and Kinyanjui, John. Tue . "Room temperature electrodeposition of actinides from ionic solutions". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1353071.
@article{osti_1353071,
title = {Room temperature electrodeposition of actinides from ionic solutions},
author = {Hatchett, David W. and Czerwinski, Kenneth R. and Droessler, Janelle and Kinyanjui, John},
abstractNote = {Uranic and transuranic metals and metal oxides are first dissolved in ozone compositions. The resulting solution in ozone can be further dissolved in ionic liquids to form a second solution. The metals in the second solution are then electrochemically deposited from the second solutions as room temperature ionic liquid (RTIL), tri-methyl-n-butyl ammonium n-bis(trifluoromethansulfonylimide) [Me.sub.3N.sup.nBu][TFSI] providing an alternative non-aqueous system for the extraction and reclamation of actinides from reprocessed fuel materials. Deposition of U metal is achieved using TFSI complexes of U(III) and U(IV) containing the anion common to the RTIL. TFSI complexes of uranium were produced to ensure solubility of the species in the ionic liquid. The methods provide a first measure of the thermodynamic properties of U metal deposition using Uranium complexes with different oxidation states from RTIL solution at room temperature.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Apr 25 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Tue Apr 25 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

Patent:

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  • Our study demonstrates a direct electrodeposition of UO 2 at a Pt cathode from a solution of uranyl bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide [UO 2(NTf 2) 2)] in a bulk room-temperature ionic liquid (RTIL), 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide (EMIM +NTf 2 ). Cyclic voltammetry (CV) studies revealed two reduction waves corresponding to the conversion of uranium(VI) to uranium(IV), and a mechanism for the overall electroreduction is proposed. A controlled-potential experiment was performed, holding the reduction potential at–1.0 V for 24 h to obtain a brown-black deposit of UO 2 on the Pt cathode. The Faradaic efficiency of the reduction process was determined to be >80%. Themore » UO 2deposit was characterized by powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS).« less
  • Room temperature ionic liquids (RTIL's) comprised of 1,3-dialkylimidazolium or quaternary ammonium cations and one of several anions such as PF{sub 6}{sup -}, BF{sub 4}{sup -}, or {sup -}N(SO{sub 2}CF{sub 3}){sub 2}, represent a class of solvents that possess great potential for use in applications employing electrochemical procedures. Part of the intrigue with RTIL's stems from some of their inherent solvent properties including negligible vapor pressure, good conductivity, high chemical and thermal stability, and non-flammability. Additionally, a substantial number of RTIL's can be envisioned simply by combining different cation and anion pairs, thereby making them attractive for specific application needs. Wemore » are interested in learning more about the possible use of RTIL's within the nuclear industry. In this regard our research team has been exploring the electron transfer behavior of simple metal ions in addition to coordination and organometallic complexes in these novel solvents. Results from our research have also provided us with insight into the bonding interactions between our current anion of choice, bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide = NTf{sub 2}, and open coordination sites on actinide and transition metal fragments. This presentation will focus on recent results in two areas: the electrodeposition of electropositive metal ions from RTIL solutions and the electron transfer behavior for several uranium complexes. Details concerning the cathodic electrodeposition and anodic stripping of alkali metals (Na, K) from various working electrode surfaces (Pt, Au, W, Glassy Carbon) will be discussed. Figure 1 displays typical behavior for the electrodeposition of potassium metal from an RTIL containing potassium ions produced through the reaction of KH with H[NTf{sub 2}]. Our efforts with other metal ions, including our results to date with uranium electrodeposition, will be covered during the presentation. The electron transfer behavior for a number of uranium complexes have been studied with various electrochemical methods including cyclic and square-wave voltammetry, chronoamperometry, and bulk coulometry. Results from these studies will be presented to show the general electron transfer behavior of metal complexes in the RTIL's. As an example, Figure 2 shows the difference in chemical stability of an electrogenerated U(V) anion for two uranyl (U(VI)O{sub 2}{sup 2+}) complexes due to the difference in ancillary ligands about the uranyl moiety. Figure 2a shows a cyclic voltammogram (CV) for the U(VI)/U(V) couple of a uranyl complex containing a multi-dentate chelating nitrogen/oxygen ligand (inset in figure). The couple is both chemically and electrochemically reversible. The CV in Figure 2b is that of [UO{sub 2}Cl{sub 4}]{sup 2-} in which the electrogenerated U(V) derivative is unstable yielding a chemically irreversible wave. For the compound giving rise to the CV in Figure 2a its electrochemical behavior in a conventional nonaqueous electrolyte medium is very similar to that obtained in the RTIL. While this result does not illustrate a distinct advantage for employing the RTIL solvent in this particular case, we believe it effectively demonstrates the ability of the RTIL to be utilized as a solvent/electrolyte medium for detailed electrochemical studies without severe limitations.« less
  • An electrochemical cell comprising an electrolyte comprising water and a hydrophobic ionic liquid comprising positive ions and negative ions. The electrochemical cell also includes an air electrode configured to absorb and reduce oxygen. A hydrophilic or hygroscopic additive modulates the hydrophobicity of the ionic liquid to maintain a concentration of the water in the electrolyte is between 0.001 mol % and 25 mol %.
  • A process for the recovery of actinide and lanthanide values from aqueous acidic solutions uses a new series of neutral bi-functional extractants, the alkyl(phenyl)-N,N-dialkylcarbamoylmethylphosphine oxides. The process is suitable for the separation of actinide and lanthanide values from fission product values found together in high-level nuclear reprocessing waste solutions.
  • A method is described for reducing the concentration of neptunium and plutonium from alkaline radwastes containing plutonium and neptunium values along with other transuranic values produced during the course of plutonium production. The OH{sup {minus}} concentration of the alkaline radwaste is adjusted to between about 0.1M and about 4M. [UO{sub 2}(O{sub 2}){sub 3}]{sup 4{minus}} ion is added to the radwastes in the presence of catalytic amounts of Cu{sup +2}, Co{sup +2} or Fe{sup +2} with heating to a temperature in excess of about 60 C or 85 C, depending on the catalyst, to coprecipitate plutonium and neptunium from the radwaste.more » Thereafter, the coprecipitate is separated from the alkaline radwaste. 2 figs.« less