Thorium determination in water samples by liquid scintillation counting after its separation by cloud point extraction
SourceJournal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
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The aim of this study is the separation and pre-concentration of thorium from aqueous solutions by cloud point extraction (CPE) and its the radiometric determination by liquid scintillation counting (LSC). For CPE, tributyl phosphate (TBP) was used as the complexing agent and (1,1,3,3-Tetramethylbutyl) phenyl-polyethylene glycol (Triton X-114) as the surfactant. The radiometric measurements were performed after phase separation by mixing of the surfactant phase with the liquid scintillation cocktail. The effect of experimental conditions such as pH, ionic strength (e.g. [NaCl]) and the presence of other chemical species (e.g. Ca2+ and Fe3+ ions, and humic acid colloids) on the CPE separation recovery have been investigated at constant reactant ratio (m(TBP)/m(Triton) = 0.1). According to the experimental results the maximum chemical recovery is (60 ± 5)% at pH 3. Regarding the other parameters, generally Ca2+ and Fe3+ ions as well as the presence of colloidal species in solution (even at low concentrations) results in significant decrease of the chemical recovery of uranium. On the other hand increasing NaCl concentration leads to enhancement of chemical recovery. Generally, the method could be applied successfully for the radiometric determination of thorium in water solutions with relatively increased thorium content. © 2010 Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary.