Organically bound tritium: optimization of measurements in environmental matrices by combustion method and liquid scintillation spectrometry

  • S. Rashmi Nayak
  • Renita Shiny D’Souza
  • S. Srinivas Kamath
  • M. P. Mohan
  • S. Bharath
  • Trilochana Shetty
  • K. Sudeep Kumara
  • B. Narayana
  • B. N. Dileep
  • P. M. Ravi
  • N. KarunakaraEmail author


Optimization of a method, based on thermal oxidation using a tube furnace system (Pyrolyser), for the separation of organically bound tritium (OBT) from environmental matrices is discussed. Results show that a maximum of ~ 4 g of the vegetation sample, typical wild plant leaves of tropical regions, and ~ 8 g of sediment sample can be combusted efficiently in the pyrolyser system. The recovery of OBT from wheat sample was observed to be ~ 92% and that for sediment sample was ~ 88%. The minimum detectable activity (MDA) at 95% confidence level was 3.4 Bq kg−1 for a sample weight = 4 g, counting time = 30,000 s, and detection efficiency = 23%.


Tritium (3H) Organically bound tritium (OBT) RADDEC pyrolyser Quantulus 1220 liquid scintillation spectrometer (LSS) Quench curve generation Recovery Optimization 



The authors would like to thank the Board of Research in Nuclear Sciences (BRNS), DAE, Govt. of India, for funding the research programme. The authors would like to thank Shri. H. S. Kushwaha, Outstanding Scientist, BRNS, Mumbai, for his comments, suggestions and guidance.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

There is no conflict of interest of the work reported in this article with any other agencies.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Rashmi Nayak
    • 1
  • Renita Shiny D’Souza
    • 1
  • S. Srinivas Kamath
    • 1
  • M. P. Mohan
    • 1
  • S. Bharath
    • 1
  • Trilochana Shetty
    • 1
  • K. Sudeep Kumara
    • 1
  • B. Narayana
    • 1
  • B. N. Dileep
    • 2
  • P. M. Ravi
    • 3
    • 4
  • N. Karunakara
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Centre for Advanced Research in Environmental Radioactivity (CARER), Mangalore UniversityMangalagangothriIndia
  2. 2.Environmental Survey LaboratoryKaiga Generating StationKaigaIndia
  3. 3.Health Physics DivisionBhabha Atomic Research CentreTrombay, MumbaiIndia
  4. 4.Homi Bhabha National Institute (HBNI)Anushaktinagar, MumbaiIndia

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