Determination of Tungsten and Associated Elements in Natural Brines and Related Process Solutions by Inductively Coupled Plasma Spectrometry
Description:Natural brines are potential domestic resources of minerals. The brines of Searles Lake, CA, for example, contain an estimated one-fourth of our current reserve of tungsten. A key to Bureau of Mines research to recover this critical mineral is the ability to quantitatively measure concentrations of particular constituents in the large number of brine samples and process solutions produced under a multiplicity of test conditions. This paper describes procedures used to determine arsenic, boron, phosphorus, silicon, and tungsten in these solutions by simultaneous inductively coupled plasma spectrometry. A variable in-ternal standard method was used to compensate for tungsten interference on the other analytes in tungsten concentrates, and matching standards were used to determine tungsten in raw brine. Other solutions were analyzed using normal techniques. Analytes were determined down to 1 mg/L with an average precision of 2.5 pet relative standard deviation. Accuracy, estimated using synthetic solutions and by comparison with values obtained by other methods, averaged about 2.5 pet. The methods were rapid, required little sample preparation, and provided the needed sensitivity.
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