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Metals 2015, 5(4), 1788-1798; doi:10.3390/met5041788

Decontamination of Uranium-Contaminated Soil Sand Using Supercritical CO2 with a TBP–HNO3 Complex

Department of Nuclear Engineering, Kyung Hee University, Yongin 446-701, Korea
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Academic Editors: Suresh Bhargava and Rahul Ram
Received: 31 July 2015 / Revised: 18 September 2015 / Accepted: 18 September 2015 / Published: 25 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrometallurgy)
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Abstract

An environmentally friendly decontamination process for uranium-contaminated soil sand is proposed. The process uses supercritical CO2 as the cleaning solvent and a TBP–HNO3 complex as the reagent. Four types of samples (sea sand and coarse, medium, and fine soil sand) were artificially contaminated with uranium. The effects of the amount of the reagent, sand type, and elapsed time after the preparation of the samples on decontamination were examined. The extraction ratios of uranium in all of the four types of sand samples were very high when the time that elapsed after preparation was less than a few days. The extraction ratio of uranium decreased in the soil sand with a higher surface area as the elapsed time increased, indicating the possible formation of chemisorbed uranium on the surface of the samples. The solvent of supercritical CO2 seemed to be very effective in the decontamination of soil sand. However, the extraction of chemisorbed uranium in soil sand may need additional processes, such as the application of mechanical vibration and the addition of bond-breaking reagents. View Full-Text
Keywords: supercritical CO2; decontamination; uranium; soil sand; TBP–HNO3 complex supercritical CO2; decontamination; uranium; soil sand; TBP–HNO3 complex
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Park, K.; Jung, W.; Park, J. Decontamination of Uranium-Contaminated Soil Sand Using Supercritical CO2 with a TBP–HNO3 Complex. Metals 2015, 5, 1788-1798.

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