Direct Determination of Rare Earth Elements by ICP-MS after Fluoride Fusion –Application to Bauxite

V. Padmasubashini* and Beena Sunilkumar

Chemistry Group, Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD), S.P Road, Begumpet, Hyderabad -500016, INDIA.

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.29055/jccs/669


Rare earth elements (REEs) have emerged as an economically important group of metals owing to their application in several key technologies. Bauxite, an aluminium ore is under consideration as an alternative source of REEs in several countries. It is extremely difficult to achieve complete sample decomposition of bauxite for chemical analysis owing to its refractory nature. In the present work, a fluoride fusion method has been applied for sample dissolution prior to ICP-MS determination of rare earth elements in bauxite. The analytical results obtained for some selected bauxite samples are presented in this paper. To check the accuracy of results obtained, the samples were also analysed by an alternate ICP-OES method after sodium peroxide fusion and the results obtained compared. For further validation, a bauxite certified reference material (BCS-CRM No.395) was analysed by both methods and the results presented in this paper. The fluoride fusion method is effective in achieving complete dissolution of bauxite samples as evidenced from the results obtained.

Keywords :Bauxite, ICP-MS, Rare-earth elements, Flouride fusion.