• Complexation Of Holmium With Tributyl Phosphate In Bis (Trifluoromethylsulfonyl)Imide Ionic Liquid Solutions

      Meeker, David; Department of Chemistry and Physics (2016-03)
      A growing area of interest is in the search for significantly safer and more eco-friendly improvements to nuclear fuel reprocessing. One proposal that addresses these issues involves the use of room temperature ionic liquids in the place of tradition- al organic solvents. Unlike the current commonly used solvents, most ionic liquids are nonvolatile and nonflammable, which greatly reduces the risk of industrial accidents and environmental contamination; other potential benefits involve monitoring applications using electrochemistry. The focus of our research involves understanding the coordination behavior of trivalent lanthanide ions (a common byproduct of spent nuclear fuel) in ionic liquids and the extraction behavior of the metal complexes between organic and aqueous phases. The lanthanide, holmium, was dissolved in the super-acid hydrogen bis(trifluoromethyl- sulfonyl)imide, and diluted to form an aqueous solution of known concentration. The holmium solution was then equilibrated with samples of organic ionic liquids, containing the bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide anion, with dissolved tributyl phosphate (TBP, the PUREX extractant) in the ionic liquid phase. Visible absorbance spectroscopy was used to determine partition coefficients of holmium at varied [TBP], and at varied extraction times for kinetics. Results will be presented from the kinetics study and the distribution ratios of holmium in these ionic liquids. Funding Source: Department of Chemistry and Physics