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Americium Production

Production

Americium-241 isotope may be produced via following reaction:
239Pu(n, γ)240Pu(n, γ)241Puβ-
->
13.24 h
241Am


It may be recovered also from nuclear wastes after storage for several years (in USA 4 kg are retrieved each year). Americium-243 may be obtained in following way:
241Am(nγ)242AmElectron capture
->
 
242Pu(nγ)243Puβ-
->
4.984 h
243Am


Americium is extracted via electron exchange using NH4CNS or concentrated hydrochloride acid as eluents. It may be also obtained by extraction with tributyl phosphate, tertiary amine etc.

Americium metal is produced reducing by americium fluorides or dioxide: reduction AmF4 by calcium at 1500-1600°C in bomb or MgO crucible. AmF3 is reduces in tantalum crucible in high vacuum at 1100-1200°C, and AmO2 is processed by lanthanum at 1500°C or by thorium at 1550°C.

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