Turkish Journal of Chemistry




It is very important to develop a process for selectively extracting Zr(IV) ions from the solution medium to produce zirconium metal used in industry and nuclear reactors. In this study, the parameters affecting the extraction of Zr(IV) ions were investigated using a multidropped liquid membrane (MDLM) system. Trioctyl amine (TOA) dissolved in kerosene was used as a carrier ligand in the extraction of Zr(IV) ions by the MDLM technique. The effect of carrier concentration and stripping solution concentration, pH, and the temperature in the donor phase on the transport of Zr(IV) were investigated. The optimum condition for the transportation of Zr(IV) was a 0.50 M H2SO4 solution as donor phase, 0.10 molL-1 TOA as a carrier, and 0.10 M Na2CO4 as acceptor phase. The transport percentage of Zr(IV) was increased up to >99% and the calculated activation energy which is 6.36 kcal mol-1 indicated that the process was diffusion controlled by Zr(IV) ions. The results showed that the MDLM system, which resembles a bulky membrane system in shape, is a promising technique for the extraction of Zr(IV) ions from an acidic solution. It is more practical and effective than bulk, supported, or inclusion, and emulsion liquid membrane techniques.

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