Solvent extraction of uranium from dilute solutions using a gas-bubble mixed extraction column

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Department of Materials Science and Engineering


A modified solvent extraction process for recovering uranium from very dilute solutions, such as mine waters or copper dump liquors, has been developed and tested on a laboratory scale. The system utilizes a column in which the aqueous feed flows downward through a liquid organic extractant. A countercurrent flow of gas is used to achieve mixing and enhance mass transfer. Acid sulfate solutions at pH 1.5 containing either 0.010 or 0.015 g/1 U3O8 comprised the feed. The extractant used was Alamine® 336 dissolved in fuel oil. Critical parameters of the system, such as length to diameter ratio of the organic phase, volume ratio of aqueous to organic in the column, and flow rates of aqueous feed and gas are examined.

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Metallurgical Transactions B