Triuranium octoxide (U3O8) is a compound of uranium. It is present as an olive green to black, odorless solid. It is one of the more popular forms of yellowcake and is shipped between mills and refineries in this form.
Triuranium octoxide occurs naturally as the olive-green-colored mineral pitchblende. U3O8 is readily produced from UF6 and has potential long-term stability in a geologic environment. In the presence of oxygen (O2), uranium dioxide (UO2) is oxidized to U3O8, whereas uranium trioxide (UO3) loses oxygen at temperatures above 500 °C and is reduced to U3O8. The compound can be produced by any one of three primary chemical conversion processes, involving either uranium tetrafluoride (UF4) or uranyl fluoride (UO2F2) as intermediates. It is generally considered to be the more attractive form for disposal purposes because, under normal environmental conditions, U3O8 is one of the most kinetically and thermodynamically stable forms of uranium and also because it is the form of uranium found in nature. Its particle density is 8.3 g cm−3.
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