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Recovery of Uranium from Natural Mine Waters by Countercurrent Ion Exchange.
NTIS: PB 197 022 :17 pages
Recovery of uranium from slightly alkaline mine water, available in the Ambrosia Lake District of New Mexico, was studied using countercurrent ion exchange columns developed by the Bureau of Mines. Approximately 5 million gallons of mine water containing 9 to 12 ppm u3o8 was treated by ion exchange using a 14-inch-diameter absorption column composed of five or six compartments each 4 feet deep. Uranium recoveries averaged in excess of 98 percent at solution flows ranging from 15 to 25 gallons per square foot per minute and resin loadings up to 3.6 Pounds of u3o8 per cubic foot. In subsequent tests, loaded resin was continuously eluted in a countercurrent elution column with a diameter of 4 inches and containing a bed of resin 9 feet deep. The resin was eluted to a residual loading of less than 0.06 Pound of u3o8 per cubic foot, at a resin-retention time of 224 minutes, using only 1.9 Volumes of 1.1M nacl-0.05 M nahco3 solution per volume of resin. Compared with existing ion exchange practices for recovering uranium from mine waters in the Ambrosia Lake District of New Mexico, use of these improved ion exchange contactors would reduce ion exchange resin requirements at least 70 percent and allow further substantial reductions in capital and operating costs.
IH; Report of Investigations
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS: PB 197 022
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division