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A review on rubidium and cesium extraction methods from geothermal and radioactive sourced materials

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    Christopher, T.D.; Mroczek, E.K. 2017 A review on rubidium and cesium extraction methods from geothermal and radioactive sourced materials. Lower Hutt, N.Z.: GNS Science. GNS Science report 2017/02 30 p.; doi: 10.21420/G2X30H

    Abstract: A review has been undertaken of methods employed to extract rubidium and cesium from a range of different aqueous sources at the laboratory and pilot scale. The techniques included solvent extraction, ionic exchange and fractional precipitation. In this study, we evaluated the extraction potentials of selected extraction methods on simulant solutions containing rubidium and cesium at concentrations similar to that found in geothermal waters in New Zealand (~5 mg/kg). Our work has shown that the use of ionic exchange with molecular sieves and ionic exchange with fractional precipitation with ionic liquids could lead to an efficient method of extracting these elements. The efficiency and ease of use of the molecular sieves makes them a candidate for further work with rubidium and cesium extraction percentages from a 5 mg/kg simulant greater than 80%. The ability to recover rubidium and cesium from the extractants was not covered in this study but will be an important part of future work. If the recovery of species is inefficient or unreliable then the method will not be viable. This study did not cover all the possible interference from other species present in geothermal water and future work would be to try these extraction methods on both geothermal samples and simulants with varying chemical compositions. (auth)

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