A simple method was developed for the separation of radioactive 77As from neutron irradiated natural GeO2 samples for environmental and biochemical studies. The method is based on the volatility of GeCl4. The GeCl4 was co-evaporated from the reaction mixture with an azeotropic mixture of HCl and water, and immediately condensed into a separate finger part of the special glass apparatus which was cooled by liquid nitrogen.
By inverting the room temperature and the deep frozen parts of the glass equipment after three half-lives of the 77Ge the separation process can be repetitive, getting a special type of 77Ge/77As parent-daughter system. The radionuclidic purity of the remaining As fraction was found to be 99.95%. Its yield, however, drastically decreased in the second and subsequent separations.
Acknowledgement is made to the crew of the research reactor of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. The authors are grateful to Mr. Cs. Hollós, Mr. Cs. Bobos and Mr. Á. Huszka for their experimental assistance.
©2015 Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston