Isolation of Samarium/Europium using electroamalgamation approach for effective use in metastatic bone pain palliation
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1Fouman Faculty of Technology, University of Tehran, Iran,
2Fouman Faculty of Technology, University of Tehran, Iran
3Nuclear Fuel Cycle Research School, Nuclear Science and Technology Research Institute, Tehran, Iran
Long-lived europium impurities are formed during the production of medical samarium-153 in a nuclear reactor. A method to separate these europium impurities from samarium was investigated using the electrochemical approach. It is based on selective electroreduction of Eu3+ to the divalent state (Eu2+). The optimization of different experimental parameters for the removal radionuclidic contaminants of Eu from Sm such as time of electrolysis, concentration of electrolyte solution and electrolyte solution was investigated and optimized. Performing the separation in the acidic media resulted in the precipitation of Samarium, which is not desirable concerning medical applications. Hence the pH of the solution must remain 6-7 in order to maintain the dissolved Samarium in the aqueous phase. Finally Sm is separated from Eu with Sm recovery yield of more than 86% at 30 minutes time and Lithium citrate concentration of 0.2 M by adjusting the pH of electrolyte at 6.