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Title: Automated Clean Chemistry for Bulk Analysis of Environmental Swipe Samples – Final Report

Abstract

Sample preparation methods for mass spectrometry are being automated using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) equipment to shorten lengthy and costly manual chemical purification procedures. This development addresses a serious need in the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Network of Analytical Laboratories (NWAL) to increase efficiency in the Bulk Analysis of Environmental Samples for Safeguards program with a method that allows unattended, overnight operation. In collaboration with Elemental Scientific Inc. (ESI), the prepFAST-MC2 was designed based on COTS equipment. It was modified for uranium/plutonium separations using renewable columns packed with Eichrom TEVA® and UTEVA® resins, with a chemical separation method based on the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) NWAL chemical procedure. Initial verification of individual columns yielded small elution volumes with consistent elution profiles and good recovery. Combined column calibration demonstrated ample separation without crosscontamination of the eluent. Automated packing and unpacking of the built-in columns initially showed >15% deviation in resin loading by weight, which can lead to inconsistent separations. Optimization of the packing and unpacking methods led to a reduction in the variability of the packed resin to less than 5% daily. Based on the initial experience at ORNL with the prepFAST-MC2, a second-generation model, the prepFAST-SR, was built by ESI.more » The newly designed prepFAST-SR has several upgrades compared with the original prepFAST-MC2. The upgrades largely addressed issues with the reliability of unpacking the Eichrom columns and with ventilation to ensure adequate removal of acid vapors. Both systems are currently installed in the Ultra-Trace Forensics Science Center at ORNL. Separations of mixed uranium and plutonium samples containing certified reference materials were analyzed by multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and yielded good results. Current efforts have demonstrated a wider applicability of the prepFAST system. Near-quantitative removal of metal interferences was achieved with the system in both uranium and plutonium separated fractions. Successful system validation was completed with several archived samples. Isotopic results from archived samples and certified reference materials were well within data quality limits for the IAEA NWAL. Additional COTS equipment has been evaluated for its potential to aid the prepFAST-SR system in reducing the time allotments and cleanroom infrastructure requirements for accurate separations. Overall, these efforts help ensure continued efficient and effective operation of the NWAL. Comparison of the amount of personnel time necessary for successful manual vs. automated chemical separations showed a significant decrease in hands-on time from 9.8 hours to 35 minutes for seven samples, respectively. This documented time savings and reduced labor translates to a significant cost savings per sample. Overall, the system will enable faster sample reporting times at reduced cost by limiting personnel hours dedicated to the chemical separation.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
1490579
Report Number(s):
ORNL/TM-2018/1069
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Ticknor, Brian W., Metzger, Shalina C., Mcbay, Eddie, Hexel, Cole R., Rogers, Kayron T., and Bostick, Debra A. Automated Clean Chemistry for Bulk Analysis of Environmental Swipe Samples – Final Report. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.2172/1490579.
Ticknor, Brian W., Metzger, Shalina C., Mcbay, Eddie, Hexel, Cole R., Rogers, Kayron T., & Bostick, Debra A. Automated Clean Chemistry for Bulk Analysis of Environmental Swipe Samples – Final Report. United States. doi:10.2172/1490579.
Ticknor, Brian W., Metzger, Shalina C., Mcbay, Eddie, Hexel, Cole R., Rogers, Kayron T., and Bostick, Debra A. Thu . "Automated Clean Chemistry for Bulk Analysis of Environmental Swipe Samples – Final Report". United States. doi:10.2172/1490579. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1490579.
@article{osti_1490579,
title = {Automated Clean Chemistry for Bulk Analysis of Environmental Swipe Samples – Final Report},
author = {Ticknor, Brian W. and Metzger, Shalina C. and Mcbay, Eddie and Hexel, Cole R. and Rogers, Kayron T. and Bostick, Debra A.},
abstractNote = {Sample preparation methods for mass spectrometry are being automated using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) equipment to shorten lengthy and costly manual chemical purification procedures. This development addresses a serious need in the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Network of Analytical Laboratories (NWAL) to increase efficiency in the Bulk Analysis of Environmental Samples for Safeguards program with a method that allows unattended, overnight operation. In collaboration with Elemental Scientific Inc. (ESI), the prepFAST-MC2 was designed based on COTS equipment. It was modified for uranium/plutonium separations using renewable columns packed with Eichrom TEVA® and UTEVA® resins, with a chemical separation method based on the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) NWAL chemical procedure. Initial verification of individual columns yielded small elution volumes with consistent elution profiles and good recovery. Combined column calibration demonstrated ample separation without crosscontamination of the eluent. Automated packing and unpacking of the built-in columns initially showed >15% deviation in resin loading by weight, which can lead to inconsistent separations. Optimization of the packing and unpacking methods led to a reduction in the variability of the packed resin to less than 5% daily. Based on the initial experience at ORNL with the prepFAST-MC2, a second-generation model, the prepFAST-SR, was built by ESI. The newly designed prepFAST-SR has several upgrades compared with the original prepFAST-MC2. The upgrades largely addressed issues with the reliability of unpacking the Eichrom columns and with ventilation to ensure adequate removal of acid vapors. Both systems are currently installed in the Ultra-Trace Forensics Science Center at ORNL. Separations of mixed uranium and plutonium samples containing certified reference materials were analyzed by multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and yielded good results. Current efforts have demonstrated a wider applicability of the prepFAST system. Near-quantitative removal of metal interferences was achieved with the system in both uranium and plutonium separated fractions. Successful system validation was completed with several archived samples. Isotopic results from archived samples and certified reference materials were well within data quality limits for the IAEA NWAL. Additional COTS equipment has been evaluated for its potential to aid the prepFAST-SR system in reducing the time allotments and cleanroom infrastructure requirements for accurate separations. Overall, these efforts help ensure continued efficient and effective operation of the NWAL. Comparison of the amount of personnel time necessary for successful manual vs. automated chemical separations showed a significant decrease in hands-on time from 9.8 hours to 35 minutes for seven samples, respectively. This documented time savings and reduced labor translates to a significant cost savings per sample. Overall, the system will enable faster sample reporting times at reduced cost by limiting personnel hours dedicated to the chemical separation.},
doi = {10.2172/1490579},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {11}
}

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