, Volume 297, Issue 1, pp 107-113

Portable automated separation system for routine purification and/or pre-concentration of radionuclides based on column chromatography

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Abstract

In recent years the purification and/or pre-concentration of radionuclides before the measurement has grown increasing interest in analytical chemistry. In this study, a new compact and portable stand-alone equipment permitting automatisation of various separation tasks is developed. The new system allows performing quick and reliable automated separation of the selected radionuclide. Since there is no need for permanent manual control of the separation procedures (automatic loading of the sample, washing and stripping solution on the column are controlled via a computer program) the system can be operated overnight. The new system posses the possibility of more variable control for the separation process via new developed user-friendly software, is shielded against the chemical vapors and could be universally equipped with any available chromatographic column. For the automated separation of U, Pu and Am isotopes (achieved recoveries were in the range of 65–95 %, depending on the element separated. The data, presented, show that the application of the module should be also straightforward for other elements: simply by changing the chromatographic columns with the resin having high chemical selectivity for the target ion. The developed separation column module, software and hardware can be readily adapted in any laboratory to meet defined analytical requirements.