Electroseparation of zinc(II) from uranium(III) prepared by reduction of uranium(IV) with zinc amalgam in dimethylformamide

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The Electroseparation of zinc(II) from a solution of uranium(III) generated by the reduction of uranium(IV) triflate (U(OTf)4) with zinc amalgam (Zn(Hg)) was studied to establish a convenient route to the precursors of organic uranium(III) compounds. Specifically, the electrode reactions of U(OTf)4 in N,N-dimethylformamide on mercury (Hg) and Zn(Hg) electrodes were probed by voltammetry and bulk electrolysis measurements. The voltammograms recorded on the former electrode showed three cathodic waves assigned to the reduction of a uranium(IV) solvate complex (− 1.48 V), the reduction of [U(OTf)]3+ (− 1.81 V), and uranium amalgamation (− 2.65 V). On the latter electrode, the first cathodic wave was masked, as it was located at the potential of zinc amalgamation. Bulk electrolysis experiments revealed that for both Hg and Zn(Hg), the working electrode potential featured a plateau around − 2.3 V, which was not observed in the corresponding voltammograms and was related to the degradation of uranium(III) based on spectroscopic observations. The Electroseparation of zinc(II) from the uranium(III) solution on Zn(Hg) was successfully (highest coulombic efficiency = 0.81, final zinc(II) separation ratio = 93.4%) carried out after the reduction of U(OTf)4 by Zn(Hg). Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1101-1108
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Electrochemistry
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jul


  • Bulk electrolysis
  • Electroseparation
  • Uranium(III)
  • Voltammetry
  • Zinc amalgamation


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