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DETERMINATION OF FLUORINE IN GEOCHEMICAL REFERENCE MATERIALS AND COAL BY INSTRUMENTAL PHOTON ACTIVATION ANALYSIS

AUTHOR/S: I. KRAUSOVA, J. MIZERA, Z. RANDA, D. CHVATIL, I. SYKOROVA
Sunday 1 August 2010 by Libadmin2010

10th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference - SGEM2010, www.sgem.org, SGEM2010 Conference Proceedings/ ISBN 10: 954-91818-1-2, June 20-26, 2010, Vol. 2, 229-236 pp

ABSTRACT

Fluorine as one of the most abundant trace elements in coals is released into the air by
combustion and pyrolysis of coal. The produced fluorine gaseous compounds,
particularly hydrogen fluoride, are harmful due to their toxicity to living organisms and
as a source of corrosion of metallic and ceramic materials. Reliable determination of
generally very low concentrations of fluorine in coal (ten to hundred ppm level) is
difficult. Standard analytical methods require tedious procedures for sample
decomposition and dissolution, and chemical conversion of fluorine into the anionic
form. The present work has been aimed at studying possibilities of nondestructive
determination of fluorine in coal and other geological materials by instrumental photon
activation analysis (IPAA) using the MT-25 microtron. The determination has been
based on counting of the non-specific 511 keV annihilation gamma rays of 18F, product
of the photonuclear reaction 19F(γ, n)18F and a pure positron emitter. The determination
is interfered by simultaneous formation of several other positron emitters, particularly
45Ti and 34mCl. Interference contributions from 22Na, 44Sc, 89Zr, 74As, and 84Rb are small
or negligible. By optimization of beam energy and irradiation-decay-counting times,
and using correction standards for the interfering nuclides, IPAA allowed determination
of fluorine in selected USGS geochemical reference materials and NIST coal standards
down to the ten ppm level. The optimized procedure has been applied to assaying
fluorine in selected coals mined in the Czech Republic.

Keywords: fluorine, instrumental photon activation analysis, IPAA, coal