Natural Resources

Analysis of Solids in Natural Waters by Thomas R. Crompton

By Thomas R. Crompton

The presence of poisonous natural and inorganic components in rivers and oceanic sediments is partially as a result of man-made pollutants. Their tracking by means of chemical research of oceanic, estuarine, and river sediments or of organisms dwelling within the respective ecosystems are of extreme value. the aim of this publication is to supply the chemist with all on hand info for the swift improvement and correct conducting of those tools of research. Crompton's booklet is the 1st publication which covers all types of samples together with residing organisms.

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Their aim was to find the metal extraction procedure which gave the greatest contrast between background sediment samples and anomalous sediment samples with enhanced metal levels due to mineral deposits occurring in the area from which the samples were taken. Sediment extracts were analysed by atomic absorption spectrometry. In this study, the analysis was performed on the SO-mesh portion of the sediments. As this portion of a sediment provides the greatest contrast between anomalous and background samples [44], Oliver [45] showed that the particle size of the sediment strongly influenced the metal content.

On the other hand, the concentrations of acids can be varied by dilution and therefore selective dissolution of several components of sediments can be effected. Five mineral acids, namely hydrochloric, nitric, sulphuric, perchloric and hydrofluoric acids, have been very widely used. For the simultaneous extraction of a large number of metals, sulphuric acid has the one notable property of dissolving silica. Thus, it has been used in conjunction with nitric, hydrochloric or perchloric acid in the total decomposition of silicates.

Perchloric acid, especially, is a strong leaching, dehydrating and oxidising agent only when it is hot and concentrated. Cold extraction methods are the weakest as they do not attack the silicate lattice appreciably. With such methods it is usually desirable to extract the non-residual metal from the sediments. 11, together with a total extraction method for manganese, iron and aluminium, for thirteen sediments of different types. 5 N hydrochloric acid. 3, respectively, for the above reagents. From their chemical properties, it would be expected that these methods would extract the adsorbed, precipitated and complexed metals.

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