Water Resources Professional Project Reports

Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date



Existing procedures for radiochemical analysis of environmental samples involves extensive laboratory preparation requiring chemical separations that are time consuming, and labor intensive to remove interferences and impurities associated with the sample matrix. Technology developed in this project reduces turnaround time, labor and supplies needed to examine radionuclides in water samples. The thin film technique can be used as a screening method. A solution including an extractive ligand and polymer are used to create a thin film to concentrate radionuclides from solution. In this project, several ligands, polymers, solvents, thin film types, and extraction procedures were examined. The polymer ligand thin films were analyzed using alpha spectrometry. Using the polymer ligand thin film method decreased sample preparation time. The thin film extraction and analysis procedure allows rapid and sensitive monitoring of select actinides in tap water with the potential for use with surface and groundwater systems in the field. The thin film method is a proof of concept of polymer ligand film extracting radionuclides; we have demonstrated our capability for detection of plutonium in laboratory samples at concentrations of 2.5 x 10-1 Becquerels/Liter (Bq/L). The thin film used for extraction and collection was made using a polymer and ligand solution which was deposited and dried on a stainless planchet. The suitable combination of polymer, ligand and solvent solution included polystyrene, Dipex®, and tetrahydrofuran. After evaporation, polystyrene and Dipex® remain on the stainless steel planchet.

Language (ISO)



Radiochemical analysis--Equipment and supplies., Radioactive pollution of water--Mesurement--Equipment and supplies., Drinking water--Analysis--Equipment and supplies., Trace elements in water--Analysis--Equipment and supplies., Thin films--Scientific applications., Polymers--Scientific applications., Ligands--Scientific applications.


A Professional Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Water Resources, Water Resources Program, University of New Mexico.