Date of Award

Spring 1957

Document Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Surak, John G.

Second Advisor

Kittsley, Scott L.

Third Advisor

Bournique, Raymond A.


The problem which constantly confronts the chemist and the chemical engineer is the separation of a single pure substance from one or more other substances. At this time there are a multitude of chemical and physical methods upon which the chemist can depend to give him purity of varying degree. New methods or variations of acceptable methods are usually valuable to someone. The challenges which this development presents can be of great interest to the researcher. Solvent extraction has only recently received wide recognition as a method of separation. It has been used in the laboratory as a simple batch process. In chemical plants it has been developed into full scale continuous production processes. The author has been associated with its application to the separation of the fission products of the nuclear reactor. Here it clearly outranks any other method of separation. The process receives much use in the laboratory of the organic chemist and biochemist. The analytical chemist has solved many difficulties in separations through use of solvent extraction. In order that a solvent extraction procedure be set up, certain other more fundamental data must be obtained either from the literature or through direct experimentation. Since two or more liquid phases will be contacted, the equilibria data for the system must be known. After the liquid system has been chosen, the factors which effect distribution such as pH and the presence of other ions must be investigated. The mechanism of the distribution should be studied. Often a new piece of equipment must be designed and constructed to carry out a particular extraction. In any case, the various factors influencing the liquid-liquid extraction system offer interesting fields of research. This paper will not attempt to cover all of the areas enumerated above. Some assumptions will be made and dependence on proven work done by others also will be utilized. However, the problem has not been approached from the particular viewpoint taken and the results may prove helpful. The extractibility of iron from aquious solutions has been well studies especially with the ethers. Recently, the extraction of metals with chelates has received much attention and here iron has also received due attention. 2-thenoyltrifluoreacetone has found to selectively extract iron from slightly acid solutions. No problem is the basis of this research.



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