The centification of standard reference materials is of fundamental importance for environmental scientists to proceed with their own quality control programs or calibration procedures. As part of the National Institute of Standard and Technology (NIST) program, we participated in the certification of a hazardous waste material. Our efforts concentrated on judiciously using thermal and epithermal neutron activation analysis in conjunction with Compton suppression techniques. We have demonstrated that besides lowering the detection limit for several elements usually not reported by conventional NAA, Compton suppression is ideally suited to substantially reduce certain spectrla interferences. A detailed comprehensive study was undertaken using this method to highlight which isotopes can be most favorably used.
As part of an ongoing Great Lakes deposition study, we have determined a series of heavy metals in air filter samples collected near Lake Ontario. To decrease our detection limits for key elements used in our receptor modeling, we have employed instrumental epithermal neutron activation analysis (NAA) and Compton suppression techniques. Our detection limits were much better than those with thermal NAA, typically, 0.3 ng for Sb, 0.7 ng for As, 8 ng for Cd, 0.2 ng for In, 14 ng for I, 5 ng for Mo and 2 ng for U. Silicon, which is usually not reported in conventional NAA results for air filters, was routinely determined at the 60 g level. Accuracy was corroborated by analyzing the certified reference material concurrently.
In order to determine the elemental concentrations of three new soil standard reference materials SRMs 2709, 2710 and 2711 from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a comparative study of different medium-lived neutron activation analysis methods was carefully performed. Three irradiation conditions (1-hour thermal, 1-hour epithermal and 5-minute epithermal) and two counting modes (normal and Compton suppression) have been evaluated for following ten elements: As, Au, Cd, Ga, K, La, Mo, Sb, Sm, and W. The results show that the method of 5-minute epithermal and a 1-day decay is the optimum way to analyze Ga, while the addition of the Compton suppression is very beneficial for the determination of K. Using the Compton suppression system in conjunction with the 1-hour epithermal and a 1-week decay, is ideal to determine Au, Cd, Mo and W, while routine 1-hour thermal and a 1-week decay, is adequate to determine As, Sb, Sm and La in concentrations found in soil.
The separation of99Mo from low-enriched uranium (LEU, 19.5%235U) targets was evaluated using natural uranium (NU) and non-radioactive tracers. Neutron activation analysis was used to determine (1) the efficiency of molybdenum recovery and (2) the decontamination factor of numerous fission product elements from the molybdenum product. Using NU and non-radioactive elements simplified procedures and allowed tests to be completed in a fume hood instead of a shielded cell. During activation of the non-radioactive tracers, uranium fission occurs, which can interfere with subsequent gamma-ray analysis. A comparison was made of the interferences caused by these fission products from both NU and LEU.
Cigarette smoking is a major source of particles released in indoor environments. A comprehensive study of the elemental distribution in cigarettes and cigarette smoke has been completed. Specifically, concentrations of thirty elements have been determined for the components of 15 types of cigarettes. Components include tobacco, ash, butts, filters, and cigarette paper. In addition, particulate matter from mainstream smoke (MS) and sidestream smoke (SS) were analyzed. The technique of elemental determination used in the study is instrumental neutron activation analysis. The results show that certain heavy metals, such as As, Cd, K, Sb and Zn, are released into the MS and SS. These metals may then be part of the health risk of exposure to smoke. Other elements are retained, for the most part, in cigarette ash and butts. The elemental distribution among the cigarette components and smoke changes for different smoking conditions.
Authors:S. Landsberger, D. Wu, S. Vermette, and W. Cizek
Fifty air filters with fine and coarse fractions were prepared from NIST 2710 contaminated soil. Eighteen pairs were made and sent to laboratories of the Coordinated Research Program (CRP) on Applied Research on Air Pollution Using Nuclear-Related Analytical Techniques for elemental determination. The results of this intercomparison are discussed in this paper.
This work discusses thermal behavior of Ni/MH battery with experimental methods. The present work not only provides a new
way to get more exactly parameters and thermal model, but also concentrates on thermal behavior in discharging period. With
heat generation rate gained by experiments with microcalorimeter, heat transport equations are set up and solved. The solutions
are compared with experiment results and used to understand the reactions inside the battery. Experiments with microcalorimeter
provide more reliable data to create precise thermal model.
Authors:D. Lin, H. Wang, M. Lin, M. Lin, and Y. Wu
Adding a magnetic field gradient to the conventional TG system constructs the magnetic thermogravimetry analysis (TG(M) i.e. Faraday methods) and the magnetic derivative thermogravimetry (DTG(M)) techniques. We used the techniques to study the nanocrystalline processes of the FeCuNbSiB and FeCuNbCoSiB amorphous alloys. Some problems of their applications such as the characteristic temperature Tmin and TC are also discussed in detail.
Authors:W. Yan, C. Ma, J. Wu, W. Zhang, and D. Jang
Crystal of the complex Ni2L (ClO4)2 was obtained by reaction of Ni(ClO4)2 and macrocyclic ligand H2L, where L2– is the dinucleating macrocycle with two 2,6-di(aminomethyl)-4-methyl phenolate entities combined by the same two lateral chains, –(CH2)2–NH–(CH2)2–, at the amino nitrogens. The thermal decomposition processes of the title complex were studied in a dynamic atmosphere of dry argon using TG-DTG. The kinetic analysis of the first and second thermal decomposition steps were performed via the TG-DTG curves, and the kinetic parameters were obtained from analysis of the TG-DTG curves with integral and differential methods. The most probable kinetic function was suggested by comparison of the kinetic parameters.
Authors:S. Landsberger, P. Zhang, D. Wu, and A. Chatt
During the past decade we have determined the concentrations of a variety of trace elements in the Arctic aerosol by using themal and epithemal neutron activation analysis (NAA). More recently we have employed Compton suppression NAA to lower the detection limits for radionuclides that are characteristic of single or mainly single gamma-ray emission. Using these various methods, we have been able to use elements such as indium and silicon. Furthermore we have achieved extremely low detection limits for iodine, arsenic and antimony. The usefulness of these NAA methods are discussed in a large sampling program that incorporates more than one thousand samples.