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Thermal Degradation of the Solvent Employed in the Next-Generation Caustic-Side Solvent Extraction Process and its Effect on ...

by Benjamin D Roach, Neil J Williams, Bruce A Moyer
Publication Type
Journal Name
Solvent Extraction and Ion Exchange
Publication Date
Page Numbers
576 to 591

As part of the ongoing development of the Next-Generation Caustic-Side Solvent Extraction (NGS) process, the thermal stability of the process solvent was investigated and shown to be adequate for industrial application. The solvent was thermally treated at 35°C over a period of 13 months whilst in dynamic contact with each of the aqueous phases of the current NGS process, namely SRS−15 (a highly caustic waste simulant), sodium hydroxide scrub solution (0.025 M), and boric acid strip solution (0.01 M). The effect of thermal treatment was evaluated by assessing batch extract/scrub/strip performance as a function of time, by monitoring the sodium extraction capacity of the solvent, and by analysis of the solvent using electrospray mass spectrometry. Current studies indicate that the NGS solvent should be thermally robust for a period of XXX months at the Modular Caustic-Side Solvent Extraction Unit (MCU) pilot plant located at Savannah River Site. The guanidine suppressor appears to be the solvent component most significantly impacted by thermal treatment of the solvent, showing significant degradation over time.