Chemistry:Uranyl carbonate

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Uranyl carbonate
Uranyl carbonate
Uranyl carbonate
IUPAC name
Uranium carbonate
Other names
Uranium Carbonate
3D model (JSmol)
Molar mass 330 g/mol
Density 5.7 g/cm3
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references

Uranyl carbonate refers to the inorganic compound with the formula UO2CO3. Also known by its mineral name rutherfordine, this material consists of uranyl (UO22+) and carbonate (CO32-). The compound is a polymeric, each uranium(VI) center being bonded to eight O atoms.[1] Hydrolysis products of rutherfordine are also found in both the mineral and organic fractions of coal and its fly ash and is the main component of uranium in mine tailing seepage water.[2]

Uranyl carbonates as a class of materials

Many uranyl carbonates exist, rutherfordine being the simplest stoichiometry. Most uranyl carbonates additional components including water and diverse anions and cations.[3]

A common method for concentrating uranium from a solution uses solutions of uranyl carbonates, which are passed through a resin bed where the complex ions are transferred to the resin by ion exchange with a negative ion like chloride. After build-up of the uranium complex on the resin, the uranium is eluted with a salt solution and the uranium is precipitated in another process.

Uranyl carbonate minerals

Uranyl carbonates include:

  • Andersonite (hydrated sodium calcium uranyl carbonate)
  • Astrocyanite-(Ce) (hydrated copper cerium neodymium lanthanum praseodymium samarium calcium yttrium uranyl carbonate hydroxide)
  • Bayleyite (hydrated magnesium uranyl carbonate)
  • Bijvoetite-(Y) (hydrated yttrium dysprosium uranyl carbonate hydroxide)
  • Fontanite (hydrated calcium uranyl carbonate)
  • Grimselite (hydrated potassium sodium uranyl carbonate)
  • Joliotite (hydrated uranyl carbonate)
  • Liebigite (hydrated calcium uranyl carbonate)
  • Mckelveyite-(Y) (hydrated barium sodium calcium uranium yttrium carbonate)
  • Metazellerite (hydrated calcium uranyl carbonate)
  • Rabbittite (hydrated calcium magnesium uranyl carbonate hydroxide)
  • Roubaultite (copper uranyl carbonate oxide hydroxide)
  • Rutherfordine (uranyl carbonate)
  • Schröckingerite (hydrated sodium calcium uranyl sulfate carbonate fluoride)
  • Shabaite (hydrated copper cerium neodymium lanthanum praseodymium samarium calcium yttrium uranyl carbonate hydroxide)
  • Sharpite (hydrated calcium uranyl carbonate hydroxide)
  • Swartzite (hydrated calcium magnesium uranyl carbonate)
  • Voglite (hydrated calcium copper uranyl carbonate)
  • Wyartite (hydrated calcium uranyl carbonate hydroxide)
  • Widenmannite (lead uranyl carbonate)
  • Zellerite (hydrated calcium uranyl carbonate)
  • Znucalite (hydrated calcium zinc uranyl carbonate hydroxide)


  1. Finch R J, Cooper M A, Hawthorne F C and Ewing R C. (1999). "Refinement of the Crystal Structure of Rutherfordine". Can. Mineral. 37: 929–38. 
  2. Ivanovich, M.; Fröhlich, K.; Hendry, M.J. (1991). "Uranium-series radionuclides in fluids and solids, Milk River aquifer, Alberta, Canada". Applied Geochemistry 6 (4): 405–418. doi:10.1016/0883-2927(91)90040-V. Bibcode1991ApGC....6..405I. 
  3. Amayri, Samer; Reich, Tobias; Arnold, Thuro; Geipel, Gerhard; Bernhard, Gert (2005). "Spectroscopic Characterization of Alkaline Earth Uranyl Carbonates". Journal of Solid State Chemistry 178 (2): 567–577. doi:10.1016/j.jssc.2004.07.050. Bibcode2005JSSCh.178..567A. 
H2CO3 He
BeCO3 B C (NH4)2CO3,
O F Ne
Al2(CO3)3 Si P S Cl Ar
Sc Ti V Cr MnCO3 FeCO3 CoCO3 NiCO3 CuCO3 ZnCO3 Ga Ge As Se Br Kr
Rb2CO3 SrCO3 Y Zr Nb Mo Tc Ru Rh Pd Ag2CO3 CdCO3 In Sn Sb Te I Xe
BaCO3   Hf Ta W Re Os Ir Pt Au Hg Tl2CO3 PbCO3 (BiO)2CO3 Po At Rn
Fr Ra   Rf Db Sg Bh Hs Mt Ds Rg Cn Nh Fl Mc Lv Ts Og
La2(CO3)3 Ce2(CO3)3 Pr Nd Pm Sm Eu Gd Tb Dy Ho Er Tm Yb Lu
Ac Th Pa UO2CO3 Np Pu Am Cm Bk Cf Es Fm Md No Lr