The growing use of geochemical prospecting methods in the search for ore deposits has led to the development of a field method for the determination of cobalt in soils. The determination is based on the fact that cobalt reacts with 2-nitroso-1-naphthol to yield a pink compound that is soluble in carbon tetrachloride. The carbon tetrachloride extract is shaken with dilute cyanide to complex interfering elements and to remove excess reagent. The cobalt content is estimated by comparing the pink color in the carbon tetrachloride with a standard series prepared from standard solutions. The cobalt 2-nitroso-1-naphtholate system in carbon tetrachloride follows Beer's law. As little as 1 p.p.m. can be determined in a 0.1-gram sample. The method is simple and fast and requires only simple equipment. More than 40 samples can be analyzed per man-day with an accuracy within 30% or better.
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Determination of traces of cobalt in soils: A field method