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Abstract  

In the usual measurements of radionuclides in the environmental samples by g-ray spectrometry, Compton scattering of 1461 keV g-rays from 40K severely interferes with the detection of artificial radionuclides in marine and agricultural products. In order to eliminate the interference of 40K, we have developed a simple and convenient water leaching treatment method applicable to seaweed (sargasso) samples. By this treatment, over 98% of the potassium in seaweed samples is removed without notable losses of artificial and/or natural radionuclides. In combination with the low-level g-ray counting in the Ogoya underground laboratory, the detection limit could be improved by ~1 order of magnitude.

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Summary  

Instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) was used to determine metals (Ba, Co, Cr, Cs, Fe, Hf, Rb, Sc, Zn), semi-metals (As, Sb), actinides (U, Th) and rare earth elements (La, Ce, Nd, Sm, Eu, Tb, Yb and Lu) in bottom sediments from one of the ponds of the Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) in São Paulo, Brazil. The results obtained were compared with the concentration determined in a soil profile and in a rock sample, in natura, representing the lithologies of the region, and indicated that only As, Cr and Zn can have their origin associated with the residues disposed around the pond.

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Abstract  

Topochemistry of the initial stages of evaporation and dissolution of monoclinic single crystals of paracetamol and phenacetin was studied. Thermal treatment of these crystals showed that the morphology of etch pits depicts the symmetry of etched planes. The shapes of pits formed during chemical etching of the cleavage plane of a paracetamol crystal by different etchants were not similar to each other. The chemical etching of the cleavage plane of a phenacetin crystal resulted in the formation of pits stretched along the same direction, independently of the chosen solvent. An interpretation of this result is suggested, based on the analysis of the anisotropy of the crystal structure and presence of steric hindrance.

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Gelatinisation temperatures as a function of moisture content were determined for potato starch. The native starch was then hydrothermally treated at a temperature 3% (Kelvin degrees) below the gelatinisation peak temperature and at moisture levels varying from 20 to 67% (by weight). Gelatinisation temperatures, temperature ranges and enthalpy values were affected for all treated samples. However, two sample populations could be distinguished: those samples treated under ‘limited’ moisture conditions and other samples treated in the presence of ‘extragranular’ moisture. A two-step hydrothermal treatment further increased the gelatinisation temperature, but the effect of the second step was small in comparison to that of the first.

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Abstract  

Determination of the lanthanoids, thorium and uranium in silicate rocks has been investigated by neutron activation analysis (NAA). Seven or eight lanthanoids and thorium and uranium were determined by non-destructive instrumental NAA. The numbers of the lanthanoids determined were increased and errors on the final values were reduced by pre-irradiation treatments, which included a coprecipitation process with aluminium as collector to remove the alkali metals and halogens and a solvent extraction process to eliminate iron. The necessity of scandium removal was indicated.

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Abstract  

Some physico-chemical properties and reactivity in their reduction with hydrogen of NiO—Y2O3 mixed oxides prepared in a dry way have been studied using isothermal thermogravimetry in the range of 320–410°C and temperature-programmed reduction. It was found that addition of small amounts of chloride and acetate anions retarded the reduction of nickel oxide and accelerated the reduction of mixed oxides. The presence of oxalate and formate ions manifests itself by a small positive effect. Introduction of platinum activator or heat treatment of the samples in various atmospheres led to a pronounced increase in the reduction rate. The efficiency of the spill-over effect increases with increasing proportion of non-reducible Y2O3. The pre-irradiation of the samples by accelerated electrons and gamma rays at a dose of 1 MGy results in a negative kinetic effect only with the samples containing an excess of nickel oxide.

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Summary  

Sand filters are used as a filter bed in many ground water treatment plants to remove the physical contaminants and oxidation products. A build-up of radioactivity may take place on the granules, where iron and manganese oxides are deposited and form thin films on the surface of sand filter. The oxides of iron and manganese play an important role in adsorbing radium from ground water. The disposal of those granules makes a significant problem. A batch technique is used for solubilization of radium from sand filters in the presence of some organic acids, which act as reducing agents. These acids are formic acid, acetic acid, benzoic acid, succinic acid, oxalic acid, phthalic acid, and adipic acid. The data were obtained as a function of acidity, temperature, contact time and liquid/solid ratio particle size and shaking speed. It was found that oxalic acid was the best for radium removal. The effectiveness of these acids on radium removal was as follows: oxalic acid > phthalic acid > adipic acid > succinic acid > formic acid > acetic acid. The maximum removal obtained was 69.9% at 1M oxalic acid at 8 ml/g ratio. Reaction kinetics and mechanism parameters of the dissolution process were studied and compared with other published data.

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Abstract  

The interactions between MoO3 and Sb2O3 or α-Sb2O4 taking place in the solid state in air during high-temperature as well as mechanochemical treatments have been investigated. The high-energy ball milling of MoO3 with Sb2O3 converts α-Sb2O3 to β-Sb2O3 and leads to formation of Sb2MoO6 and Sb4Mo10O31 phases. They are the final products of thermal synthesis in an inert atmosphere but not in air. The solid solution of MoO3 in β-Sb2O4 was obtained in high-temperature reaction of MoO3 with Sb2O3 or α-Sb2O4 as well as by milling of mixture MoO3/α-Sb2O4 for 14 h. The milling resulted in higher than 3 mol% solubility of MoO3 in β-Sb2O4. The constructed phase diagram of MoO3–α-Sb2O4 system is presented.

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Abstract  

Statistical treatment was carried out using the elements determined both by neutron activation and X-ray fluorescence analysis in order to decide on the method to be used in the future work.

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Abstract  

Radiometric X-ray fluorescence analysis was used for the determination of Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn and Pb in wastewater and sludges from three wastewater treatment plants in Bratislava (SR). Metals were determined in wastewaters after preconcentration by 8-hydroxyquinoline and in sludges by drying and pressing to pellets.238Pu and109Cd was used for excitation of fluorescence radiation.

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