Radioisotope Capture Intensification Using Rotating Packed Bed Contactors

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Lemont, Illinois
Project Term:
01/16/2023 - 01/15/2026

Technology Description:

Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) will develop, produce, and test rotating packed bed contactors designed from the ground up for UNF reprocessing. The proposed PAcked Centrifugal Equipment for Radiochemical separations, PACERs, applies a centrifugal field to increase the efficiency of separations in packed beds and decrease the required packing volumes by more than 50% compared with state-of-the-art columns. PACERs could replace current CO2 and I2 off-gas scrubbing systems, pulsed columns, and ion exchange columns used for traditional gas-liquid, liquid-liquid, and solid-liquid separations, respectively. These compact, modular units will have lower installed costs than columns because of decreased material, manufacturing, and shielding requirements.

Potential Impact:

By enabling the secure and economical recycling of the nation’s inventory of LWR UNF, CURIE will have the following impacts:


Support the deployment of AR technologies by providing safe and sustainable domestic fuel stocks. Improvements in monitoring capabilities could enable more precise controls of various reprocessing stages while ensuring increased security of materials of concern.


Substantially reduce the disposal impact of the nation’s inventory of LWR UNF, decrease uranium mining requirements, and support a comprehensive national strategy to store radioactive waste safely and securely.


Complement ARPA-E’s existing nuclear energy research portfolio, further ensuring the commercial viability of innovative new ARs, and enable an additional revenue stream via valuable radionuclides recovered from UNF for diverse applications.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Jenifer Shafer
Project Contact:
Dr. Anna Servis
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


Case Western Reserve University

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