The hydrometallurgical separation concepts for the heterogeneous recycling of irradiated nuclear fuel developed in Europe are presented and discussed. Most of these concepts were developed during the last 25 years within European collaborative projects (NEWPART, PARTNEW, EUROPART, ACSEPT, SACSESS, GENIORS). They involve solvent extraction processes separating trivalent minor actinides (with a focus on americium) from the raffinate solution from processes such as PUREX (Plutonium Uranium Reduction Extraction) or an evolution of PUREX. Depending on the process chemistry applied, process schemes each consisting of one, two or three solvent extraction cycles are required to obtain a pure americium product. The various solvent extraction processes are briefly introduced, the most suitable choices are pointed out, and the process schemes are compared to one another.