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Article info. : 2004; 1(1) (pp 79~87)


Simultaneous Preconcentration Flotation-Separation and Spectrophotometric Determination of Thorium, Lanthanum and Yttrium in Some Geological and Environmental Samples

A.M. Abdallah, M.A. Kabil, M.A. Akl*, D.S. Ismael

Department of Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Mansoura University 35566, P.O. Box 70, Mansoura, Egypt

The extraction and preconcentration of a metal complex via surfactant-mediated phase separation was studied. A sensitive, selective and low-cost methodology for the determination of micro amounts of thorium, lanthanum and yttrium ions, using Eriochrome Cyanine R (ECR) with a flotation step prior to spectrophotometric determination was developed. The precipitate in the scum layer was quantitatively collected, stripped with 4 ml of 3% HCl and measured spectrophotometrically at 540 nm for Th(IV) and at 650 nm for both La(III) and Y(III). The stripping of Th(IV), La(III) and Y(III) from the scum layer was carried out in one step with different mineral acids. The stripping efficiency was found to be quantitative in the case of HCl. An excess amount of ECR was used to eliminate the interfering effects of various foreign species. The proposed procedure was applied to the determination of Th(IV), La(III) and Y(III) spiked in natural water samples and in some ore samples. Additionally, the mechanism of flotation of the metal chelate was proposed to be due to a physical interaction between the metal chelate and the oleic acid surfactant through the Van der Waals force.

Keywords: Thorium, Lanthanum, Yttrium, Flotation, ECR, Oleic acid, Spectrophotometry, Ores


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