Low levels of selenium (0.1-500 ppm) in both organic and inorganic geologic materials can be semiquantitatively measured by isolating Se as a thin film for presentation to an energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometer. Suitably pulverized samples are first digested by fusing with a mixture of Na2CO3 and Na2O2. The fusion cake is dissolved in distilled water, buffered with NH4Cl, and filtered to remove Si and the R2O3 group. A carrier solution of Na2TeO4, plus solid KI, hydrazine sulfate and Na2SO3, is added to the filtrate. The solution is then vacuum-filtered through a 0.45-??m pore-size filter disc. The filter, with the thin film of precipitate, is supported between two sheets of Mylar?? film for analysis. Good agreement is shown between data reported in this study and literature values reported by epithermal neutron-activation analysis and spectrofluorimetry. The method can be made quantitative by utilizing a secondary precipitation to assure complete recovery of the Se. The X-ray method offers fast turn-around time and a reasonably high production rate. ?? 1981.
Additional publication details
Determination of selenium at trace levels in geologic materials by energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometry