Ion exchange investigation for recovery of uranium from acidic pregnant leach solutions

Bożena Danko 1 , Rajmund S. Dybczyński 1 , Zbigniew Samczyński 1 , Dorota Gajda 2 , Irena Herdzik-Koniecko 2 , Grażyna Zakrzewska-Kołtuniewicz 2 , Ewelina Chajduk 1 , and Krzysztof Kulisa 1
  • 1 Laboratory of Nuclear Analytical Techniques, Institute of Nuclear Chemistry and Technology, 16 Dorodna Str., 03-195 , Warsaw, Poland
  • 2 Centre for Radiochemistry and Nuclear Chemistry, Institute of Nuclear Chemistry and Technology, 16 Dorodna Str., 03-195 , Warsaw, Poland


The article describes studies on the separation of uranium from acid pregnant leach solutions obtained from Polish uranium ores: dictyonema shales and sandstone rocks. Ion exchange chromatography was applied for uranium sorption, using commercially available, strongly basic anion exchanger, Dowex 1. In model experiments, the influence of degree of crosslinking of Dowex 1 on the efficiency of uranium extraction was investigated. The effect of H2SO4 concentration on the breakthrough curve of uranyl ions for the Dowex 1 resins, of different crosslinking: X4, X8 and X10, was examined. Unexpectedly high increase of exchange capacity of uranium was observed in case of Dowex 1X10. This gives potential opportunity of improving the effectiveness of uranium recovery process. Applying column packed with Dowex 1X10, ‘yellow cake’ with ca. 92% yield and high purity of recovered uranium was obtained. A block diagram of the procedure for uranium and lanthanides extraction from acidic leach liquor has been proposed.

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