Geochemistry / Geoecology


Sub-project 5:

Geochemical analysis of trace components in complex matrices

May 1ˢᵗ 2013 – December 31ˢᵗ 2017
Responsible professor and other scientist:
Students on the project:
Aim of sub-project:

Quite some of the strategic elements occur in rather small amounts within the resource value chain. This is true for both their natural occurrence in highly complex matrices and in many products from which they might want to be recycled. A quantitative analytical result is everything but trivial, and methodological hurdles need to be overcome from the raw material to intermediate products.

In consequence, this sub-project aims at developing adequate methods for all related project partners and to improve our performance in the high-end and high-quality analysis of complex matrices, starting with appropriate digestion and dissolution techniques via fully quantitative results to an in-depth interpretation of the obtained data.

The overall approach serves both scientific endeavours and our ambition to educate and train our students on the best possible level in the field, the laboratory, and beyond.

Ongoing work and results:

The sub-project is still in progress and working on the following tasks:

The reference material TUBAF-KB was prepared for several purposes. A round robin ensures the quantitative analysis with eleven participants from all over the world (Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Norway and USA). This material is available for all associated groups and their aims of research and especially recommended for comparability studies.

Different methods to characterize and quantify sulfidic ore materials are developed and validated. Thereby routines for liquid (ICP-MS, ICP-OES, GF-AAS) and solid sample (WD-XRF; C,N,S) analysis were examined and critically valuated.

During the entire duration of this project, analytical methods are being developed and validated since every new sample material needs its special “handling” to guarantee quantitative results. Furthermore, analytical assistance for all BHMZ-associated groups is offered and intensively used by several other sub-projects.

Sulphidic ores, e.g. the reference material TUBAF-KB, show oxidation processes depending on their surrounding atmosphere (O2, humidity, temperature). A WD-XRF technique (see publication by Uhlig et al. 2016) is suitable for a fast and simple determination of the degree of oxidation.

Publications from sub-project:
  • Uhlig S, Möckel R, Pleßow A (2016) Quantitative analysis of sulphides and sulphates by WD-XRF: Capability and constraints. X-Ray Spectrum 45: 133–137
  • Pilz C (2015) Quantitative analysis of fluorine in mine tailings – validation of a XRF-method. Talk at Colloquium analytische Atomspektroskopie (CANAS), 10.03.2015, Leipzig
  • Uhlig S (2015) Quantitative differentiation of sulfur in different oxidation states (-II and +VI) by WD-XRF. Talk at Colloquium analytische Atomspektroskopie (CANAS), 10.03.2015, Leipzig
Student theses related to sub-project:
Masterarbeit Kreuseler, M.: Überprüfung und Optimierung der Fluorbestimmung mit der ionenselektiven Elektrode an erzhaltigem Material.
Possible additional student projects: