Nuclear Science and Techniques

《核技术》(英文版) ISSN 1001-8042 CN 31-1559/TL     2019 Impact factor 1.556

Nuclear Science and Techniques ›› 2018, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (4): 46 doi: 10.1007/s41365-018-0395-z


An industrial-scale annular centrifugal extractor for the TRPO process

Wu-Hua Duan, Tiao-Xiang Sun, Jian-Chen Wang   

  1. Institute of Nuclear and New Energy Technology, Collaborative Innovation Center of Advanced Nuclear Energy Technology, Tsinghua University, Beijing 102201, China
  • Contact: Wu-Hua Duan
  • Supported by:

    This work was supported by the Program for Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in University (No. IRT13026), and the National 863 Program for the Nuclear Fuel Cycling and Nuclear Safety Technology Project (No. 2009AA050703).

Wu-Hua Duan, Tiao-Xiang Sun, Jian-Chen Wang. An industrial-scale annular centrifugal extractor for the TRPO process.Nuclear Science and Techniques, 2018, 29(4): 46     doi: 10.1007/s41365-018-0395-z


Annular centrifugal extractors (ACEs) offer advantages including excellent hydraulic and mass-transfer performance, small hold-up volume, short residence time, and thus low solvent degradation, high nuclear criticality, easy start-up and shut-down, high compact structure. Therefore, ACEs have attracted increasing interest for future nuclear processing schemes, including the partitioning of high-level liquid waste (HLLW). Laboratoryscale and pilot-scale ACEs have been applied in demonstration tests of the trialkyl phosphine oxide (TRPO) process for HLLW partitioning. In this study, an industrialscale ACE (260 mm in rotor diameter) with magnetic coupling and a ‘‘hanging’’ rotor structure was developed for the TRPO process. Moreover, a series of hydraulic and mass-transfer tests were carried out in the industrial-scale ACE. The maximum throughput can reach 10 m3/h under suitable operation parameters when kerosene is used as the organic phase, and water is used as the aqueous phase. The influence of the total flowrate, the flow ratio (aqueous/organic, A/O), and the rotor speed on the liquid hold-up volume was determined. The extraction stage efficiency is higher than 98% under test parameters for extraction of Nd3+ and HNO3, using 30% TRPO kerosene as the extractant from an HNO3 solution containing Nd. All results show good performance of the industrial-scale ACE for the TRPO process.

Key words: Annular centrifugal extractor, TRPO process, Mass-transfer efficiency, Hydraulic performance, Industrial-scale