Simple and sensitive method for the determination of trace amounts of thorium using a benzoquinone derivative

  • Mostafa M. HamedEmail author
  • Refaat F. Aglan


A novel simple, sensitive, rapid, direct, and spectrophotometry-based procedure was investigated to determine Th(IV) at trace amounts. The new method is based on Th(IV) chelation with 3,6-dichloro-2,5-dihydroxy-l,4-benzoquinone (DDBQ). The reagent reacts with Th(IV) in 0.1 M HCl to form an orange 1:2 complex. The stability constant value is 6.62 × 104 for the Th(IV) complex. The Th(IV)-DDBQ obtained shows one peak with a maximum at about 346 nm. The chelate forms immediately and the absorbance remains stable for over 24 h. Beer’s law was obeyed in the concentration range 0–10 µg mL−1. The molar absorptivity and Sandell’s sensitivity were 4.4 × 104 L mol−1 cm−1 and 0.0053 μg cm−2, respectively. Different analytical parameters were tested in detail. Interfering ion (cations and anions) effects were tested. Methods for Th(IV) determination by second and third-derivative spectrophotometry were also introduced at about 344 and 341 nm, respectively. These two derivative orders offer the feature of sensitivity without the necessity for solvent extraction, heating, or pre-concentration steps. Finally, the methods were successfully utilized for Th(IV) determination in monazite, environmental water, and wastewater samples.


Th(IV) determination p-benzoquinone derivative Spectrophotometry 


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Copyright information

© China Science Publishing & Media Ltd. (Science Press), Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chinese Nuclear Society and Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hot Laboratories and Waste Management CenterAtomic Energy Authority of EgyptCairoEgypt

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