The Scientific World Journal

The Scientific World Journal / 2002 / Article
Special Issue

Isotopes as Tracers in Marine Environmental Studies: Collected Papers from 2001: An Ocean Odyssey

View this Special Issue

Short Review | Open Access

Volume 2 |Article ID 849807 | 15 pages |

Rapid Determination of 226Ra and Uranium Isotopes in Solid Samples by Fusion with Lithium Metaborate and Alpha Spectrometry

Received13 Dec 2001
Revised14 May 2002
Accepted14 May 2002


A simple and rapid method has been developed to determine 226Ra in rocks, soils, and sediments. Samples are decomposed by fusion with lithium metaborate and the melt is dissolved in a solution containing sulfates and citric acid. During the dissolution, a fine suspension of mixed barium and radium sulfates is formed. The microcrystals are collected on a membrane filter (pore size 0.1 μm) and analysed in an alpha spectrometer. Application of a 133Ba tracer enables us to assess the loss of the analyte, which only rarely exceeds 10%. All analytical operations, beginning from sample decomposition to source preparation for alpha spectrometry, can be accomplished within 1 or 2 h.With uranium determination, the filtrate is spiked with a 232U tracer and passed through a column loaded with a Dowex AG (1 x 4) anion-exchange resin in the sulfate form. Interfering elements are eluted with dilute sulfuric acid followed by concentrated hydrochloric acid. Uranium is eluted with water, electrodeposited on silver discs, and analysed in the alpha spectrometer. The method was tested on reference soil and sediment materials and was found to be accurate within the estimated uncertainties.

More related articles

47 Views | 885 Downloads | 6 Citations
 PDF  Download Citation  Citation
 Order printed copiesOrder

Related articles

We are committed to sharing findings related to COVID-19 as quickly and safely as possible. Any author submitting a COVID-19 paper should notify us at to ensure their research is fast-tracked and made available on a preprint server as soon as possible. We will be providing unlimited waivers of publication charges for accepted articles related to COVID-19. Sign up here as a reviewer to help fast-track new submissions.