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. Geology of Hungary. 317 Montel, J.-M., S. Foret, M. Veschambre, C. Nicollet, A. Provost 1996: Electron microprobe daring of monazite. - Chem. Geol., 131, pp. 37

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Abstract  

Using physicochemical methods we showed that continuous (15 days) exposure of monazite powder in humic acid (HA) solutions with different acidity gives rise to one to two orders of magnitude growth in the concentration of the monazite’ p-, d- and f-elements of Periodic Table (Mg, Al, Si, P, Pb, Ti, Bi, Sc, Ti-Zn, REE, Th, U). The growth in the elements concentration in the humic solutions contacting monazite is shown to depend on the initial concentration of HA in the solutions, pH. It is concluded that these factors should be taken into consideration when inorganic phosphates and alike phases are used as a matrix for the radionuclide wastes solidification.

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A TiO2/monazite photocatalyst was prepared by embedding TiO2 nanoparticles into a monazite substrate surface. TiCl4 hydrolysis/citric acid chelating procedure under acidic conditions were used to synthesize the nanophase TiO2 particles. The anatase TiO2/monazite photocatalyst surface area, morphology, crystalline and elemental concentrations were characterized using Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) method, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES). Monazite contains a large amount of Ce-, La-, Nd- and Th-PO4 compounds; it has been known as a natural mineral material with minor radioactivity. TiO2-CeO2 composite is a kind of radiation sensitive photocatalyst in which the radiations of thorium nuclides give energy to trigger TiO2 and cerium ions which play an energy absorber with charge separator. The result showed that methylene blue and phenol were spontaneously photocatalytic decomposed by TiO2/monazite composite even in a dark environment. A synergistic effect was also examined with applied exterior UV or 60Co irradiation. A hybrid mechanism is proposed; according by the radioluminescence (RL) from excited Ce ion by γ-radiation soliciting CeO2/TiO2 heterojunction (HJ). This seems to be a possible mechanism to explain this self-activated photo-catalytic behavior.

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Monazite (chief source of thorium) which is available in plenty in the beach sands of Kerala, India, contains uranium in the range of 0.25% to 0.35%. An attempt has been made to estimate 231Pa in monazite and the corresponding process stream samples of the thorium production cycle. This paper reports the 231Pa activity in these samples, after coprecipitation of 231Pa on MnO2 carrier and estimation by -ray spectrometry. The estimation shows about 1000 Bq/kg of 231Pa in monazite. This is the first reported estimate of 231Pa in monazite.

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Radiochemical neutron activation analysis /RNAA/ has been applied for the determination of individual rare earth elements /REE/, except Tm, in 8 Indian monazites and one each from Malaysia and Thailand. Because of the very low amounts of heavy rare earths /HREE/ compared to light rare earths /LREE/ in monazite, HREE from Ho onwards have been determined only after the separation of the heavy and light rare earth fractions in the irradiated monazite samples. The results indicate significant variations in REE contents from Eu to Lu among different monazite samples. The chondritic normalized REE patterns of all the samples show a prominent negative Eu anomaly with different slopes at the heavy rare earth end. All the individual REE, except Tm, have been reported for the first time in various Indian monazites.

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Taiwan monazite is a unique mineral obtained from the heavy sand found in the river floor of Tzuo-suei river and En-suei river. Both rivers are flowing parallel with separated narrow area into the sea at southwestern coast of Taiwan. The characteristic of monazite is that it contains considerable rare earth elements (REEs). REEs are considered very useful elements in the local industries and scientific researches such as ceramic, semiconductors, and glass optics. In this study, chemical neutron activation analysis (CNAA) was used to determine the contents of REEs in Taiwan monazite. A few milligram of monazite was digested in the microwave oven for 25 minutes with mixed acid (conc. HNO3 and HClO4). REEs were preconcentrated by hydrated magnesium oxide and CNAA was performed.

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Abstract  

Radiochemical neutron activation analysis (RNAA) has been applied for determination of rare earth elements (REE) in Vietnamese monazite. The chemical separation procedure used is based on the chromatographic elution of rare earth groups, after the separation of233Pa(Th) in irradiated monazite samples by coprecipitation with MnO2, the rare earth elements were retained by Biorad AG1×8 resin column in 10% 15.4M HNO3-90% methanol solution. The elution of heavy rare earth (HREE) and middle rare earth (MREE) groups was carried out with 10% 1M HNO3-90% methanol and 10% 0.05M HNO3-90% methanol solution, respectively; while the light rare earths (LREE) were eluted from the column by 0.1M HNO3 solution. The accuracy of the method was checked by the analysis of granodiorite GSP-I and the rare earth values were in good agreement.

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A series of leaching experiments with water and gradually harsher acid solutions have been carried out on a monazite.228Th/232Th,230Th/232Th, and234U/238U activity ratios in the acid fractions show a common variation pattern: high — low — close to bulk values, which can be explained in terms of preferential solution effect of recoil atoms. Compared with228Th, the preferential solution effect of234U is suppressed due to self-annealing of recoil tracks.

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The relative ans single comparator methods have been applied to determine 7 rare-earth elements and U, Th in Korean Monazites by 14.5 MeV neutron activation analysis. The (n, 2n) nuclear reactions are used for all elements except La, for which (n, p) reaction is used. Al is used as a flux monitor for the relative method and as a singlle comparator for the single comparator method. The analytical results obtained by the two methods agree well within 3% deviation except for Sm and Gd. These results are also compared with the result obtained by a single comparator method using reactor neutron.

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The extraction behavior of uranium, thorium and lanthanides, represented by cerium and ytterbium, by Cyanex-923 has been investigated. The effect of different variables like the concentration of acids, metal ion and extractant, nature of diluent and temperature has been studied. A composition for the extracted U(VI) and Th(IV) species has been proposed. Based on the partition data some important binary and ternary separations involving the aforesaid metal ions have been achieved. The proposed procedure has been applied for the recovery of uranium, thorium and lanthanide fraction from monazite sand. The stability and regeneration capacity of the extractant have been evaluated.

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