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Production of high-purity uranium at a South African gold mine

Abstract

The chemistry of the Bufflex solvent-extraction process is described. Uranium is extracted by a tertiary amine solvent, from which the impurities are removed by means of dilute ammonia, and the uranium is stripped by an ammonium sulphate strip. In the pilot plant, these processes are carried out in mixer-settlers. Details of pumps, flow controllers, and materials of construction are given. The operation of the extraction, scrub, strip, precipitation and thickening, and regeneration sections is described. Comparative tests on the elution of ion-exchange resin with 10% sulphuric acid, and with nitrate, are described. The results of resin analyses and plant tests are given. A breakdown of the costs of reagents in the Bufflex process, compared with the conventional process, is given. It is concluded that a solvent-extraction process treating the sulphuric acid eluate from ion-exchange columns is technically feasible. As regards the resin itself, elution with 10% sulphuric acid is satisfactory. There is more polythionate build-up than with nitrate elution, and the capacity of the resin is slightly lower, but the difference is small. The operating cost of the Bufflex process is cheaper by at least 5 cents/lb U{sub 3}O{sub 8} produced. The product satisfies the most stringent specification for nuclear-grade  More>>
Authors:
Faure, A; Finney, S; Hart, H P; Jordaan, C L; Heerden, D van; Viljoen, E B; Robinson, R E; Lloyd, P J.D. [1] 
  1. National Institute for Metallurgy, Pelindaba (South Africa)
Publication Date:
Jun 15, 1967
Product Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Panel on Processing of Low-Grade Uranium Ores, Vienna (Austria), 27 Jun - 1 Jul 1966; Other Information: 7 figs, 8 tabs, 2 refs; Related Information: In: Processing of Low-Grade Uranium Ores. Proceedings of a Panel, 260 pages.
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; AMMONIA; AMMONIUM SULFATES; COBALT; GOLD; HAFNIUM; ION EXCHANGE; MIXER-SETTLERS; MOLYBDENUM; NITRATES; OPERATING COST; ORE PROCESSING; PILOT PLANTS; RESINS; SILICON; SOLVENT EXTRACTION; SULFURIC ACID; URANIUM; URANIUM MINES; URANIUM OXIDES U3O8; ACTINIDE COMPOUNDS; ACTINIDES; AMMONIUM COMPOUNDS; CHALCOGENIDES; COST; ELEMENTS; EQUIPMENT; EXTRACTION; EXTRACTION APPARATUSES; FUNCTIONAL MODELS; HYDRIDES; HYDROGEN COMPOUNDS; INORGANIC ACIDS; INORGANIC COMPOUNDS; METALS; MINES; NITROGEN COMPOUNDS; NITROGEN HYDRIDES; ORGANIC COMPOUNDS; ORGANIC POLYMERS; OXIDES; OXYGEN COMPOUNDS; PETROCHEMICALS; PETROLEUM PRODUCTS; POLYMERS; PROCESSING; REFRACTORY METALS; SEMIMETALS; SEPARATION EQUIPMENT; SEPARATION PROCESSES; SULFATES; SULFUR COMPOUNDS; TRANSITION ELEMENTS; UNDERGROUND FACILITIES; URANIUM COMPOUNDS; URANIUM OXIDES
OSTI ID:
21594176
Research Organizations:
International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna (Austria)
Country of Origin:
IAEA
Language:
English
Other Identifying Numbers:
Other: ISSN 0074-1876; TRN: XA12N1506072623
Availability:
Also available on-line: http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/Publications/PDF/Pub146_web.pdf; Enquiries should be addressed to IAEA, Marketing and Sales Unit, Publishing Section, E-mail: sales.publications@iaea.org; Web site: http://www.iaea.org/books
Submitting Site:
INIS
Size:
page(s) 119-142
Announcement Date:
Sep 01, 2012

Citation Formats

Faure, A, Finney, S, Hart, H P, Jordaan, C L, Heerden, D van, Viljoen, E B, Robinson, R E, and Lloyd, P J.D. Production of high-purity uranium at a South African gold mine. IAEA: N. p., 1967. Web.
Faure, A, Finney, S, Hart, H P, Jordaan, C L, Heerden, D van, Viljoen, E B, Robinson, R E, & Lloyd, P J.D. Production of high-purity uranium at a South African gold mine. IAEA.
Faure, A, Finney, S, Hart, H P, Jordaan, C L, Heerden, D van, Viljoen, E B, Robinson, R E, and Lloyd, P J.D. 1967. "Production of high-purity uranium at a South African gold mine." IAEA.
@misc{etde_21594176,
title = {Production of high-purity uranium at a South African gold mine}
author = {Faure, A, Finney, S, Hart, H P, Jordaan, C L, Heerden, D van, Viljoen, E B, Robinson, R E, and Lloyd, P J.D.}
abstractNote = {The chemistry of the Bufflex solvent-extraction process is described. Uranium is extracted by a tertiary amine solvent, from which the impurities are removed by means of dilute ammonia, and the uranium is stripped by an ammonium sulphate strip. In the pilot plant, these processes are carried out in mixer-settlers. Details of pumps, flow controllers, and materials of construction are given. The operation of the extraction, scrub, strip, precipitation and thickening, and regeneration sections is described. Comparative tests on the elution of ion-exchange resin with 10% sulphuric acid, and with nitrate, are described. The results of resin analyses and plant tests are given. A breakdown of the costs of reagents in the Bufflex process, compared with the conventional process, is given. It is concluded that a solvent-extraction process treating the sulphuric acid eluate from ion-exchange columns is technically feasible. As regards the resin itself, elution with 10% sulphuric acid is satisfactory. There is more polythionate build-up than with nitrate elution, and the capacity of the resin is slightly lower, but the difference is small. The operating cost of the Bufflex process is cheaper by at least 5 cents/lb U{sub 3}O{sub 8} produced. The product satisfies the most stringent specification for nuclear-grade uranium, except as regards cobalt, molybdenum, silicon, and hafnium. (author)}
place = {IAEA}
year = {1967}
month = {Jun}
}