Determination of trace elements in chalcopyrite (CuFeS2) by k0-instrumental neutron activation analysis after matrix elements removal

Milena Taseska, Petre Makreski, Vekoslava Stibilj, Radojko Jaćimović, Trajče Stafilov, Gligor Jovanovski


A method for trace elements determination in chalcopyrite, CuFeS2, by k0-instrumental neutron activation analysis (k0-INAA) was proposed. To avoid the interference of iron and copper as matrix elements, methods for their separation were applied. The copper interferences were eliminated by applying an electrolytic separation method. To eliminate iron interferences, a liquid-liquid extraction procedure by diisopropyl ether (DIPE) in hydrochloric acid solution and determination of trace elements in the aqueous phase were undertaken. The k0-INAA method was applied to determine the content of the investigated elements, making it possible to follow the distribution of even fifty elements (with intermediate/medium and long half-lived radionuclides) in the studied mineral. The important advantage of the proposed method is the possibility to determine the content of several trace elements after Fe and Cu separation. Additionally, the elimination of the matrix elements lowered the limit of detection for some trace elements in the water phase compared to their corresponding values determined by k0-INAA in the powder sample.


chalcopyrite; trace elements; neutron activation analysis; k0-INAA

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