Determination of low-level 135Cs and 135Cs/137Cs atomic ratios in large volume of seawater by chemical separation coupled with triple-quadrupole inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry measurement for its oceanographic applications

Liuchao Zhu, Xiaolin Hou*, Jixin Qiao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Radioisotopes of cesium are powerful tracer for oceanographic studies. In this work, a novel method was developed for determination of ultra-low level 135Cs and 137Cs in seawater using triple-quadrupole inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS/MS). Cesium was pre-concentrated from up to 45 L seawater samples using ammonium molybdophosphate (AMP) adsorption, following a selective leaching of cesium using Sr(OH)2. The cesium was further purified from interfering elements using AMP-PAN and cation-exchange chromatography. Sr(OH)2 leaching was found to be an effective approach for selective exchange of cesium from the AMP sorbent without dissolution, which avoids the problem of separation of huge amount of NH4+ and MoO42− in the following steps. The decontamination factors for barium and rubidium with the developed method were more than 4 × 107 and 800, respectively. The separated 135Cs and 137Cs were measured using ICP-MS/MS by employing N2O as reaction gas to further elimination of isobaric (i.e. 135Ba and 137Ba) and polyatomic ions interferences. A detection limit of 1.5 × 10−16 g L−1 for 135Cs in seawater was achieved. The concentrations of 135Cs in seawater from Baltic Sea, Danish straits and Roskilde Fjord were determined using the developed method to identify the sources of 135Cs, the water masses exchange in this region was investigated using 135Cs and 137Cs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number122121
JournalTalanta
Volume226
ISSN0039-9140
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Cs/Cs atomic Ratio
  • Selective leaching
  • Tracer
  • Water masses exchange

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