An enhanced procedure for the rapid digestion of high silicate archeological specimens followed by ICP-MS determination of traces of rare earth elements (REE's)

Pillay, A.E. & Punyadeera, C. (2001) An enhanced procedure for the rapid digestion of high silicate archeological specimens followed by ICP-MS determination of traces of rare earth elements (REE's). Journal of Trace and Microprobe Techniques, 19(2), pp. 225-241.

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A straightforward procedure for the acid digestion of geological samples with SiO2 concentrations ranging between about 40 to 80%, is described. A powdered sample (200 mesh) of 500 mg was used and fused with 1000 mg spectroflux at about 1000 degreesC in a platinum crucible. The molten was subsequently digested in an aqueous solution of HNO3 at 100 degreesC. Several systematic digestion procedures were followed using various concentrations of HNO3. It was found that a relationship could be established between the dissolution-time and acid concentration. For an acid concentration of 15% an optimum dissolution-time of under 4 min was recorded. To verify that the dissolutions were complete, they were subjected to rigorous quality control tests. The turbidity and viscosity were examined at different intervals and the results were compared with that of deionised water. No significant change in either parameter was observed. The shelf-life of each solution lasted for several months, after which time polymeric silicic acid formed in some solutions, resulting in the presence of a gelatinous solid. The method is cost effective and is clearly well suited for routine applications on a small scale, especially in laboratories in developing countries. ICP-MS was applied to the determination of 13 Rare Earth Elements and Hf in a set of 107 archaeological samples subjected to the above digestion procedure. The distribution of these elements was examined and the possibility of using the REE's for provenance studies is discussed.

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ID Code: 77711
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Times Cited: 4
Pillay, AE Punyadeera, C
<Go to ISI>://WOS:000169919700005
Keywords: high silicate archaeological specimens, digestion procedure, ICP-MS, Rare Earths, mngeni river area, south-africa, pottery, provenance
DOI: 10.1081/tma-100002212
ISSN: 0733-4680
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2001 Taylor & Francis
Deposited On: 15 Oct 2014 03:00
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2014 03:00

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