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Yttrium and europium separation by solvent extraction with undiluted thiocyanate ionic liquids

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

An yttrium/europium oxide obtained by the processing of fluorescent lamp waste powder was separated into its individual elements by solvent extraction with two undiluted ionic liquids, trihexyl(tetradecyl)phosphonium thiocyanate, [C101][SCN], and tricaprylmethylammonium thiocyanate, [A336][SCN]. The best extraction performances were observed for [C101][SCN], by using an organic-to-aqueous volume ratio of 1/10 and four counter-current extraction stages. The loaded organic phase was afterwards subjected to scrubbing with a solution of 3 mol L-1 CaCl2 + 0.8 mol L-1 NH4SCN to remove the co-extracted europium. Yttrium was quantitatively stripped from the scrubbed organic phase by deionized water. Yttrium and europium were finally recovered as hydroxides by precipitation with ammonia and then calcined to the corresponding oxides. The conditions thus defined for an efficient yttrium/europium separation from synthetic chloride solutions were afterwards tested on a leachate obtained from the dissolution of a real mixed oxide. The purity of Y2O3 with respect to the rare-earth content was 98.2%; the purity of Eu2O3 with respect to calcium was 98.7%.
Journal: RSC Advances
ISSN: 2046-2069
Issue: 9
Volume: 9
Pages: 4876 - 4883
Publication year:2019
BOF-publication weight:1
CSS-citation score:1
Authors from:Higher Education