Novel organophosphorus extractants, which have two functional groups in the molecular structure, have been developed for the separation of lanthanoids using the liquid-liquid extraction technique. The separation efficiency and extractability of the novel extractants were investigated for nine lanthanoids. These bifunctional extractants have an extremely high extractability to all the lanthanoids compared to those of commercially available organophosphorus extractants. Two isomers having an identical chemical formulation show significantly different behaviors in lanthanoid extraction. This means that the extraction and separation abilities are quite sensitive to the structure of the spacer connecting the two functional groups. We also discuss the experimental results with a computational modeling by means of molecular mechanics and semiempirical molecular orbital methods. The novel molecular mechanics (MM) calculation program MOMEC enables us to analyze the stable conformation of a series of lanthanoid complexes. The calculation suggests that the structural effect of the spacer is one of the decisive factors for enhancing selectivity and extractability in lanthanoid extraction.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Process Chemistry and Technology
- Filtration and Separation