Solute extraction is a common practice used in many research and industrial processes. Typical extraction is achieved by vigorously shaking a solution with a solvent so that the desired solute is transferred to the new solvent. Solute extraction by this method is equilibrium limited and can create emulsion problems.
Membrane methods for solute extraction eliminate equilibrium limitations and prevent emulsion problems enabling increased solute extraction.
Americium Removal from Used Nuclear Fuel:
Inorganic membranes can be used to facilitate the nearly complete removal of americium from used nuclear fuel. This process offers a higher efficiency method of americium removal over other potential pathways. The process eliminates removal limitations caused by equilibrium effects and uses only solvents employed elsewhere in a recycling process. Additionally, phase mixing of the solvents used does not occur, eliminating the generation of secondary toxic material and the potential for emulsion problems.