1967 Volume 40 Issue 9 Pages 2107-2110
Various methods for the reduction of hexavalent uranium to the trivalent state were examined. It was found that the liquid-zinc-amalgam method is simple and rapid, and gives a high yield with a good reproducibility in hydrochloric, sulfuric, and perchloric acid solutions. The percentage of reduction is over 99% in a 0.5 N hydrochloric acid solution. Next, the stability of trivalent uranium in these media was investigated; it was observed that the trivalent uranium ion is fairly stable in any hydrochloric, sulfuric and perchloric acid solutions at a low concentration of the acids in the absence of atmospheric oxygen, but that it becomes unstable as the acid concentration increases. Both the percentage of reduction by the liquid-zinc-amalgam method and the stability of trivalent uranium are highest in a hydrochloric acid solution, next highest in a perchloric acid solution, and lowest in a sulfuric acid solution.
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