Determination of Rare Earth Elements in Acid Mine Drainage by Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry

  • Merten D
  • Buechel G
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A method was developed for the direct determination of 14 naturally occuring rare earth ele- ments (REE, La–Lu) by means of inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry in seepage waters caused by acid mine drainage. The analytical procedure includes the additional determination of oxide and hydroxide formation by Ba and REE. The determined polyatomic ion formation can be used to correct spectral interfer- ences of oxides and hydroxides of Ba and the lightREE on middle and heavy REE. The total REE content in the acidic seepage waters investigated is up to 220mgL1. The concentration of the REE normalized to Post Archean Australian Shale (PAAS) is shown, and fractionation of the REE is discussed. The PAAS- normalized REE-patterns feature an enrichment of middle and heavy REE as opposed to the light ones. For one seepage water sampled over a period of about half a year, the REE patterns show very high reproduc- ibility. The accuracy of the method was demonstrated by the analysis of two water samples containing certi- fied concentrations of REE.

Author-supplied keywords

  • icp-ms
  • interference correction
  • rare earth elements

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  • Dirk Merten

  • Georg Buechel

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