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An automated multidimensional preparative gas chromatographic system for isolation and enrichment of trace amounts of xenon from ambient air
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Analytical Chemistry.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Analytical Chemistry.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Analytical Chemistry.
2011 (English)In: Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, ISSN 1618-2642, E-ISSN 1618-2650, Vol. 400, no 2, 449-458 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The monitoring of radioactive xenon isotopes is one of the principal methods for the detection of nuclear explosions in order to identify clandestine nuclear testing. In this work, a miniaturized, multiple-oven, six-column, preparative gas chromatograph was constructed in order to isolate trace quantities of radioactive xenon isotopes from ambient air, utilizing nitrogen as the carrier gas. The multidimensional chromatograph comprised preparative stainless steel columns packed with molecular sieves, activated carbon, and synthetic carbon adsorbents (e.g., AnasorbA (R)-747 and CarbosphereA (R)). A combination of purification techniques-ambient adsorption, thermal desorption, back-flushing, thermal focusing, and heart cutting-was selectively optimized to produce a well-defined xenon peak that facilitated reproducible heart cutting and accurate quantification. The chromatographic purification of a sample requires approximately 4 h and provides complete separation of xenon from potentially interfering components (such as water vapor, methane, carbon dioxide, and radon) with recovery and accuracy close to 100%. The preparative enrichment process isolates and concentrates a highly purified xenon gas fraction that is suitable for subsequent ultra-low-level gamma-, /gamma-spectroscopic or high-resolution mass spectrometric measurement (e.g., to monitor the gaseous fission products of nuclear explosions at remote locations). The Xenon Processing Unit is a free-standing, relatively lightweight, and transportable system that can be interfaced to a variety of sampling and detection systems. It has a relatively inexpensive, rugged, and compact modular (19-inch rack) design that provides easy access to all parts for maintenance and has a low power requirement.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 400, no 2, 449-458 p.
Keyword [en]
Preparative enrichment of xenon, Noble gas, Radioxenon, Stable xenon, Radon separation, Carbon adsorbents, CTBT, IMS, Nuclear safeguards
National Category
Chemical Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-69082DOI: 10.1007/s00216-011-4754-4ISI: 000289000300018OAI: diva2:475347
authorCount :3Available from: 2012-01-10 Created: 2012-01-10 Last updated: 2012-01-10Bibliographically approved

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Östman, ConnyColmsjö, Anders
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