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Lazer Stimulation of Photochemical Reactions

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Selective Extraction of Rare-Earth Elements and Isotopes from Solutions Based on the Effects of Elements and Isotopes under Lazer Irradiation of Compounds

Tech Area / Field

  • CHE-RAD/Photo and Radiation Chemistry/Chemistry

Status
3 Approved without Funding

Registration date
13.08.1997

Leading Institute
Khlopin Radium Institute, Russia, St Petersburg

Supporting institutes

  • Institute of General Physics named after A.M. Prokhorov RAS, Russia, Moscow

Project summary

The Purpose of the Project

The basic purpose of the project is the development of a new, effective method of rare-earth elements and their isotopes extraction from solutions under the selective photochemical reactions, stimulated by laser radiation, on the basis of selective laser extraction technology, developed for precious metals extraction from industrial solutions.

The Technical Approach and Methodology

Rare-earth elements: Eu (europium), Sm (samarium), Gd (gadolinium), Yb (itterbium) were chosen as the objects of experimental and theoretical researches. Stable isotopes of the mentioned above elements: Eu-154, Sm-144, Gd-152, Yb-168 are a starting material for production (under an irradiation by neutrons in nuclear reactor) radioactive isotopes: europium-155, samarium-145, gadolinium-153, itterbium-169, which used in an industry and medicine. The sources of gamma-radiation on the basis of an isotope samarium-145 are used for X-ray fluorescent analysis of polymetallic ores. The sources on the basis of an isotope itterbium-169 are used for radioisotope diagnostics of materials and products on the basis of light alloys.

The demand for these isotopes is wide, however cost of a number of isotopes (for example, 168Yb) makes up to 100.000 $ per 1 gram.

During the fulfilling of the project the accomplish of the following measures are supposed:


1. To research the isotope effects under interaction of laser radiation with the chosen ions of rare-earth elements (Eu, Sm, Gd, Yb).
2. On the basis of the found out isotope effects to carry out determination and choice of optimum conditions for proceeding of selective photoreactions, stimulated by laser radiation.
3. To isolate significant (for practice) amount of isotopes of europium-155, samarium-144, gadolinium-152, itterbium-168.
4. To work out the physico-chemical bases of technology for isolation of the isotopes of rare-earth elements from solutions followed by application for practical purposes.

Nowadays to produce the isotopes of rare-earth elements the electromagnetic method of separation is used, this method is high power consumption. As a perspective direction in production of he isotopes of rare-earth elements the variant of used technology of the selective laser extraction of precious metals (Au, Ag, Pd, Pt) from industrial solutions. The expenses for extraction of 1 gram of product by this technology makes 0,1 - 1 $.

The study of the process of separation of isotopes by resonance laser radiation has put on the agenda a question on an opportunity to elaborate the low power consumption technology with the purpose of selective extraction of rare-earth elements isotopes from complex solutions. The offered technology of selective extraction on the point of power consumption will be more economic than technology of electromagnetic separation. It will let to decrease the prices of the stable isotopes in 2-3 times compared the modern prices, that will promote the wider use the sources of ionized radiation on the basis of Eu-155, Sm-145, Gd-153, Yb-169 in industry and medicine.

The participants of the project have scientific potential for performance of researches within the framework of the project. In particular, they executed for the first time the experiments on pision of rare-earth isotopes in gas phase. They developed the technology and the installation for selective extraction of precious metals from solutions (the purity of metals - 99,98 %) is created. The authors are the patent holder on the technology of the selective laser extraction. The results were reported at International conferences and well are known for the experts.

Expected Results

Final result of the project will be the development of technology of rare-earth elements and isotopes extraction from solutions with the purpose to create new low power consumption technology.

The results of the carried out researches will be


1. determination the influence of power and wave length of laser radiation, and the content of solution on efficiency of photochemical reduction of Sm, Eu, Yb, Gd ions;
2. determination the condition of isotopic effects with excitation of electron-oscillatory lines for Sm, Eu, Yb, Gd molecular ions and reactions of photochemical replacement for isolation of rare-earth elements isotopes from solutions under laser radiation;
3. determination of the influence isomeric and cluster on efficiency of photochemical processes;
4. the determination of the optimum conditions for photochemical processes of Sm, Eu, Gd, Yb element selective extraction from solutions;
5. the determination of the optimum conditions of rare-earth elements isotopes extraction from solutions.

Potential Role of Foreign Collaborators

Joint efforts on realization of the project let to develop methods of element and isotope separation of substances from solutions under laser radiation. The institutes of USA, Japan, countries of European Economic Community is carried out the development of such technologies nowadays.


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