Rapid sequential determination of americium and plutonium in sediment and soil samples by ICP-SFMS and alpha-spectrometry

Z. Varga, G. Surányi, N. Vajda, Z. Stefánka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

An improved sample preparation method for the determination of americium and plutonium in sediment and soil samples by inductively coupled plasma sector field mass spectrometry (ICP-SFMS) and alpha-spectrometry is described. The developed procedure involves a selective CaF2 co-precipitation for pre-concentration and matrix removal followed by a sequential extraction chromatographic separation. The average chemical recovery of sample preparation was between 81%-94% for both americium and plutonium. The method development also focused on the elimination of possible interferences in mass spectrometric analysis caused by molecular ions (e.g. 238U1H +, 204Pb36Ar+ or 208Pb16O2+) employing the suitable matrix separation prior to ICP-SFMS analysis coupled with a desolvation sample introduction system. For 239Pu, 240Pu, 241Pu and 241Am limits of detection of 15, 9.2, 14 and 23 fg g-1 was achieved by ICP-SFMS, respectively. The applied sample preparation and measurement can be carried out within 6 h for one batch of samples. Results of certified reference materials (IAEA-384 and IAEA-385) analysed by the two different measurement techniques agreed well with the recommended or information values.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-87
Number of pages7
JournalRadiochimica Acta
Volume95
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 11 2007

Keywords

  • Actinides
  • Alpha-spectrometry
  • Americium
  • ICP-SFMS
  • Plutonium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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