Improving the separation of strontium and barium with Sr Resin using chelating eluent solutions
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Age dating radioactive 137Cs and 90Sr sources, which are a potential concern in radiation dispersal devices, can provide evidence for attribution in a nuclear forensic investigation. Precise measurement of the 137Cs–137Ba or 90Sr–90Zr isotope ratio by ICP-MS in tandem with non-linearity and mass-bias data manipulation dramatically increases precision and decreases uncertainty, leaving inadequate chemical separation efficiencies as a major contributor—and in some cases the lead contributor—to uncertainty in age determination. To improve the separation of these isobars before ICP-MS analysis, we evaluated eluents containing EDTA and DTPA chelating agents against previously studied eluents for their ability to achieve complete removal of Sr and Ba from Eichrom Technologies’ Sr Resin. Barium separation efficiencies using 0.05 M EDTA, pH-adjusted 0.05 M EDTA, and pH-adjusted 0.05 M DTPA were found to be 100.9 ± 2.2%, 99.4 ± 0.8%, and 99.3 ± 1.2%, respectively. Strontium separation efficiencies using 0.05 M disodium EDTA and 0.05 M potassium EDTA were determined to be 100.14 ± 0.53% and 100.19 ± 0.97% respectively. These results demonstrate that eluents containing chelating agents out-perform previously studied eluent solutions at removing barium and strontium from Sr Resin.
KeywordsExtraction chromatography EDTA Age dating Nuclear forensics 137Cs 137Ba 90Sr Radiation dispersal devices
The submitted manuscript has been created by UChicago Argonne, LLC, Operator of Argonne National Laboratory (“Argonne”). Argonne, a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science Laboratory, is operated under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357. The U.S. Government retains for itself, and others acting on its behalf, a paid-up nonexclusive, irrevocable worldwide license in said article to reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute copies to the public, and perform publicly and display publicly, by or on behalf of the Government. The Department of Energy will provide public access to these results of federally sponsored research in accordance with the DOE Public Access Plan. http://energy.gov/downloads/doe-public-access-plan. This research also was supported by the National Nuclear Security Administration NA-241 program and by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. CHE-1566438. Our thanks to Agilent Technologies for providing the Agilent 8800 ICP-QQQ to the Metallomics Center of the Americas at the University of Cincinnati. We wish to thank Dr. Jeannette Krause for helpful discussions and expert technical assistance. This publication is submitted in memoriam of Dr. William Connick. We thank you for your guidance, effort, and comradery during this project. You will be dearly missed.
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