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Extraction behavior of rare-earth elements using a mono-alkylated diglycolamic acid extractant

Shimojo, Kojiro; Fujiwara, Iori*; Fujisawa, Kiyoshi*; Okamura, Hiroyuki; Sugita, Tsuyoshi; Oshima, Tatsuya*; Baba, Yoshinari*; Naganawa, Hirochika

Liquid-liquid extraction of rare-earth (RE) cations has been investigated using $$N$$-dodecyldiglycolamic acid (C$$_{12}$$DGAA) with a secondary amide group, and compared with that using $$N,N$$-dioctyldiglycolamic acid (DODGAA) with a tertiary amide group. C$$_{12}$$DGAA enables quantitative transfer of all RE cations from moderately acidic solution, while being selective toward the heavier RE cations, and performs better than typical carboxylic-acid-type extractants. However, C$$_{12}$$DGAA provides low extraction performance and separation ability for RE cations compared with DODGAA because of the weaker basicity of the amide oxygen. Slope analysis demonstrated that RE$$^{3+}$$ transfer with C$$_{12}$$DGAA proceeded through a proton-exchange reaction, forming a 1:3 complex, RE(C$$_{12}$$DGAA)$$_{3}$$. Structural characterization by X-ray diffraction revealed that three $$N$$-butyldiglycolamic acid (C$$_{4}$$DGAA) molecules coordinated to the La$$^{3+}$$ central ion in a tridentate fashion and the La$$^{3+}$$ primary coordination sphere consisted of three oxygen atoms from the amide group, three oxygen atoms from the ether group, and three oxygen atoms from the carboxy group.

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