Degradation of tetraphenylphosphonium bromide at high pH and its effect on radionuclide solubility

Recently, tetraphenylphosphonium bromide (TPPB) has been used to remove technetium from some radioactive waste streams. However, before TPPB could 15 be approved for use it was necessary to show that TPPB and its degradation products would not have a significant detrimental effect on post-closure performance of a radioactive waste repository. TPPB is known to be stable at neutral pH, however, under alkaline conditions it degrades by an alkaline hydrolysis mechanism to triphenylphosphonium oxide (TPPO). Degradation can 20 also occur by radiolysis to produce triphenylphosphine (TPP). The kinetics of the alkaline hydrolysis degradation of TPPB is described and the solubility of europium, iodine, nickel, technetium(VII) and uranium(VI) in aqueous solutions of TPPB and its degradation products is reported. These results were used to support the use of TPPB in removing technetium from some waste streams.