, Volume 149, Issue 3-4, pp 229-237
Date: 07 Feb 2005

Determination of Trace Elements in Arsenic and Antimony Minerals by Atomic Absorption Spectrometry and k0-Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis After Removal of As and Sb

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The content of trace elements in arsenic and antimony minerals from the Allchar mine, Macedonia, was determined by electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry (ETAAS) and k0-instrumental neutron activation analysis (k0-INAA) after removal of arsenic and antimony. Their direct determination by ETAAS or k0-INAA in arsenic (realgar and orpiment) and antimony (stibnite) minerals is limited by strong matrix interferences from As and Sb. Successful elimination of both elements was realized by the extraction of their iodide complexes into toluene. It was found that the optimal conditions were triple extraction of arsenic into toluene from 6 mol·L−1 HCl with addition of KI. Triple extraction of antimony was most successful in the system 4.5 mol·L−1 H2SO4 and KI into toluene. In both cases, trace elements (Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn) were then detected in the aqueous phase by ETAAS. The proposed procedures with ETAAS were checked by the method of standard additions and Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn determined in realgar, orpiment and stibnite. Using k0-INAA the trace elements Ba, Ce, Co, Cr, Cs, Fe, Hg, Sc, Tb, Th, U and Zn in realgar and orpiment were determined before and after As and Sb removal from the same aliquot of sample. The removal of both elements with KI into toluene was higher than 99.8% and no losses of trace elements were observed.