Determination of 238U/234U isotope ratios in environmental waters by quadrupole ICP-MS after U stripping from alpha-spectrometry counting sources

Mas, José Luis, Ma, Renli, McLeod, Cameron, González-Labajo, Jesús, Cox, Alan and Watson, Paul (2006) Determination of 238U/234U isotope ratios in environmental waters by quadrupole ICP-MS after U stripping from alpha-spectrometry counting sources. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 386 (1). pp. 152-160. ISSN 1618-2642

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00216-006-0601-4

Abstract

The 234U/238U isotope ratio has been widely used as a tracer for geochemical processes in underground aquifers. Quadrupole-based inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) equipped with a high-efficiency nebulizer and a membrane desolvator was employed for the determination of 234U/238U isotope ratios in natural water samples. The instrumental limit of detection for 234U was at the low pg L?1 level with very low sample consumption. Measurement precision (234U/238U) was 3–5% for bottled mineral water with elevated uranium concentration (>1 ?g L?1). For the analysis of groundwater samples from the Almonte-Marisma underground aquifer (Huelva, Spain), uranium was stripped from stainless steel planchets that had previously been used as radiometric counting sources for alpha-particle spectrometry. Potential spectral interferences from other metals introduced during the dissolution were investigated. Matrix-matched blank solutions were needed to subtract the background on 234U due to the formation of platinum argides, and to allow for mass bias correction and background correction. The Pt appears to be an impurity present in the stainless steel, either as a minor component by itself or after extraction from the anode and a subsequent uranium electrodeposition. The 234U/238U isotope ratio data were in very good agreement with those of alpha spectrometry, while precision was improved by a factor of up to 10 and counting time was reduced down to ~20 min (10 replicate measurements).

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Provided the analytical methodology for the collaborative project and helped to prepare the paper. The study improved the capability and reliability in determining radioactive uranium isotopes in environmental waters as part of a wider study to better understand the fate and environmental health risk of Uranium to humans.
Subjects: C700 Molecular Biology, Biophysics and Biochemistry
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > School of Life Sciences > Applied Sciences
Depositing User: EPrint Services
Date Deposited: 23 Dec 2008 11:16
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2015 11:48
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/2971

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