Determination of Lead-210 in Water Using Extraction Chromatography

1.0 Scope

This method is used to determine the activity of 210Pb in a water matrix. It describes the separation of Pb by extraction chromatography and preparation for gas-flow proportional counting (Horwitz, et al. 1992). This method is rapid and reliable and results in a small waste stream, primarily consisting of 1 M HNO3.

2.0 Summary of Method

Lead-210 is concentrated from a water sample by iron hydroxide scavenge. After dissolution, Pb is selectively extracted from the other coprecipitants on a Sr•Spec® column. The purified Pb fraction is mounted on a counting planchet and counted by gas-flow proportional counting. After allowing for 210Bi ingrowth, the planchet is counted by gas-flow proportional counting. Chemical yield may be determined by a 210Pb spike duplicate or from stable Pb carrier recovery. Lead-210 (Emax = 17 keV is determined based on 210Bi (Emax = 1.162 MeV) ingrowth.

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