SO3-Ph-BTBP is a hydrophilic tetra-N-dentate ligand proposed for An(III)/Ln(III) separation by solvent extraction, and a candidate for use in future advanced reprocessing schemes such as GANEX and SANEX. We present the first study of the effect of SO3-Ph-BTBP on the corrosion behavior of stainless steels. Specifically, studies have been performed using steels and conditions equivalent to those found in relevant nuclear reprocessing flow sheets. SO3-Ph-BTBP has been shown to have little effect on either steel passivation or reductive dissolution. However, if driven cathodically into a region of hydrogen evolution at the electrode surface or conversely anodically into a region of transpassive dissolution, observed currents are reduced in the presence of SO3-Ph-BTBP, suggesting corrosion inhibition of the steel potentially through weak absorption of a SO3-Ph-BTBP layer at the metal-solution interface. The lack of any observed corrosion acceleration via complexation of Fe3+ is surprising and has been suggested to be due to the slow extraction kinetics of SO3-Ph-BTBP as a result of a requirement for a trans- to cis-conformational change before binding.
For the study of the coupled interfacial-mass transfer kinetics of, inter alia, TBP, TODGA, CyMe4-BTBP and CyMe4-BTPhen based solvent extraction processes, a new rotating diffusion cell (RDC) apparatus has been established at Lancaster University. RDC studies of Ce(IV)/TBP and Ce(III)/TODGA extraction systems have been undertaken in order to improve the understanding of the chemical and kinetic processes involved. In each case, an interesting dependency on local hydrodynamics at the solution phase boundary with results suggesting that the organic extractant molecules migrate into the aqueous phase in order to capture Ce.