Isolation of lanthanides from spent nuclear fuel by means of high performance ion chromatography (HPIC) prior to mass spectrometric analysis

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Pure and complete fractions of neodymium, samarium, europium, gadolinium and dysprosium were isolated by means of high performance ion chromatography, using a cation exchange column and gradient elution
with alpha-hydroxyisobutyric acid solutions (α-HIBA). Intermediate precision and robustness of the isolation method was investigated, identifying eluent pH as the most important parameter. Investigation of the elution behavior of the most important fission and activation products and actinides indicated that preventing the accumulation of cesium on the cation exchange column required further isocratic elution with a higher concentrated α-HIBA solution after elution of the lanthanides. A sample matrix free of carbon was achieved by means of acid digestion, followed by UV photo-oxidation, resulting in samples suitable for mass spectrometric analysis.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1727-1739
JournalJournal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2017


  • Spent nuclear fuel , High performance ion chromatography, Burnup, inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometru, lanthanides, alpha-hydroxy isobutyric acid

ID: 3609457