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Issue 6, 2012
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Quantitation of protactinium, 231Pa in abyssal carbonate

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Abstract

Quantitation of protactinium, 231Pa in abyssal carbonates at ∼10−12 g g−1 levels, presents certain challenges because it is the only isotope of this element that is present in the natural environment and its half-life of 32 800 y is too long for useful measurement using alpha-particle or gamma-ray spectroscopy. However, because it is an isotope in the 235U decay chain, closely linked to the 238U decay chain, quantitation can be achieved relative to a carbonate standard in secular radioactive equilibrium. The 238U, 235U, 234U, 230Th and 232Th isotopes in the carbonate standard are determined with a mixed 236U–229Th spike using isotope dilution protocols and a Multi-Collector Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer.

Graphical abstract: Quantitation of protactinium, 231Pa in abyssal carbonate

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Publication details

The article was received on 01 Feb 2012, accepted on 05 Apr 2012 and first published on 10 Apr 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2JA30026E
Citation: J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 2012,27, 952-956
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    Quantitation of protactinium, 231Pa in abyssal carbonate

    P. van Calsteren and L. Thomas, J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 2012, 27, 952
    DOI: 10.1039/C2JA30026E

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