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Recovery of Uranium from Natural Mine Waters by Countercurrent Ion Exchange.

Ross JR; George DR
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.
Publication Date
Document Type
IH; Report of Investigations
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
RI 7471
NIOSH Division
Source Name
NTIS: PB 197 022
Page last reviewed: December 10, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division