Thorium in monazite is determined by a d.c. carbon-arc technique using zirconium as the internal standard. The analytical curve for Th II 2870.413 A??/Zr II 2844-579 A?? is established by means of synthetic standards containing graduated amounts of thoria and 0.500 per cent zirconia in pegmatite base (60 parts quartz, 40 parts microchne, and 1 part ferric oxide). Monazite samples are diluted 14-fold with pegmatite base that contains 0.538 per cent ZrO2, so that the zirconia content of the resulting mixture is also 0.500 per cent. In addition, both the standards and the diluted monazites are mixed with one-half their weight of powdered graphite. Approximately 25 mg of the prepared samples are arced to completion at 15.5 to 17.5 amperes. With the 14-fold dilution employed, the accurate range of the method is 3 to 20 per cent thoria in the original monazite. The coefficient of variation for a single determination is 4 per cent at the 7 per cent thoria level. Tests with synthetic unknowns and chemically analyzed monazites show a maximum error of ??10 per cent of the thoria content. If niobium is substituted for zirconium as the internal standard, there is a loss of precision. Platinum as the internal standard gives results of good precision but introduces a marked sensitivity to matrix effects. ?? 1954.
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Spectrochemical determination of thorium in monazite by the powder-d.c. arc technique