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Analyst. 2001 Mar;126(3):322-8.

Simplified method for the determination of Ru, Pd, Re, Os, Ir and Pt in chromitites and other geological materials by isotope dilution ICP-MS and acid digestion.

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General and Analytical Chemistry, University of Leoben, Franz-Josef-Str. 18, A-8700 Leoben, Austria.


A method for the determination of low Ru, Pd, Re, Os, Ir and Pt abundances in geological reference materials by isotope dilution inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) after acid digestion in a high pressure asher (HPA-S) is presented. The digestion technique is similar to that using Carius tubes but easier to handle and reaches higher temperatures. Osmium can be determined as OsO4 with ICP-MS directly after digestion through a sparging technique. The remaining elements are preconcentrated by means of anion column chromatography. The resin is digested directly without elution leading to high yields but this causes problems if Zr is present at higher levels in the silicate rich materials. The analytical results for international platinum group element (PGE) reference materials, chromitite CHR-Bkg, basalt TDB-1 and gabbro WGB-1, are presented and compared with literature data, demonstrating the validity of the described method. Although higher in concentration, PGEs determined for reference material WGB-1 were worse than for TDB-1 indicating a more inhomogeneous distribution of the platinum group mineral phases. The low PGE abundance chromitite standard, CHR-Bkg, is likely to be homogeneous for Ru, Re, Os and Ir and is recommended as a reference material for the study of chromitites. Detection limits (3s x total procedure blank) range from 0.012 ng (Re and Os) to 0.77 ng (Pt), which could be further improved by applying higher quality acids.


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