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Poll: Radioisotope Identification
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Author: Subject: Radioisotope Identification
neptunium
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[*] posted on 2-2-2014 at 08:24


being snowed in i collected some outside and melted it add some more melted it etc...
after collecting about a gallon of water i boilled it down to about 300 ml and pour 50ml in a small glass bottle that fit the dector...
started the acquisition and went to bed.
after 5 hours of collection this what i had.



i thought that little hump was Cs137 at 661Kev from the Fukushima accident (hlf life 30 years) but no .
the software indidcated I131 and Bi214 .
i am not sure what it is actually but its definitely there.
the other peak left little doubt iT IS K40...
but i found it interesting because not too many element have a peak at 632Kev...

[bfesser: hosted image(s) at scimad.org/scipics2/]

[Edited on 2.2.14 by bfesser]




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[*] posted on 2-2-2014 at 08:34


Quote: Originally posted by neptunium  
after collecting about a gallon of water i boilled it down to about 300 ml and pour 50ml in a small glass bottle that fit the dector...
Did you acquire a baseline on the empty bottle?



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sad.gif posted on 2-2-2014 at 08:43


yes i did but it should have been 5 hours too to be accurate and i only did 1 hour...



the K40 is barely visible because i was not standing there . in this basement (my lab) the main source of K40 is me !
i will get some lead shielding as soon as i get some money again!
whatever is in there is drowned in background radiations...

[Edited on 2-2-2014 by neptunium]

[bfesser: hosted image(s) at scimad.org/scipics2/]

[Edited on 2.2.14 by bfesser]




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[*] posted on 12-6-2014 at 18:27


what hapen to the charts?? does my browser needs updates ? or is everything gone ?



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[*] posted on 13-6-2014 at 06:33


I can't see them.



As below, so above.
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[*] posted on 5-8-2014 at 05:31


i have a new detector much more performant with a better resolution,
i`d like to post graph as updates but i dont know what happened to the older ones....




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[*] posted on 20-8-2014 at 09:25


i recently acquired some modest quantities of the mineral called monazite . A source of rare earth and Thorium...
The gamma spectrum with my new improved detector clearly shows the isotopes from the decay chain of Th232



monazite 50.bmp - 561kB

after calibration the main peak is label as U235 or Ra226 wich doesnt really matter because if one is present we can deduce it either came from the other or the other must be there too .. also identified are isotopes of Pb, Bi, and Ac!
Also i have a small amoun of Euxenite ..


euxenite50.bmp - 561kB
notice how the same peak appear on both spectrum indicating the presence of the same isotope..i beleive it to be Bismuth
i will redo the calibration with more care to be sure ...
but i find it quite interesting that U235 is clearly present in both rocks in much greater amont in Euxenite though
i have enough to seperate uranium ,Thorium and other element chemicaly but probably wont do it .;)
although it would be interesting to see how the spectrum changes...


[Edited on 20-8-2014 by neptunium]




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[*] posted on 21-8-2014 at 07:54


the previous spectrum of Co60 was somehow erased..
this is what my new detector resolution is able to accomplish!


cobalt6050.bmp - 561kB
the two main peak at 1173.24Kev and 1332.5 kev are clearly seperated the small one over at 2.5Mev is just an addition peak.
The lower energy peak is the back scattering ( i need to built a shield)
and here is Barium 133 ...


Ba13350.bmp - 561kB
i get a much better resolution with the semiconductor detector but the surface area window being so small, it barely see higher energy gamma...it is in fact an Xray sopectrometer.




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[*] posted on 21-8-2014 at 13:44



here is the identification of a sample of euxenite...
euxenite ID.bmp - 2.2MB




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[*] posted on 22-8-2014 at 13:27


here is monazite


interestingly enough, Ra223 is a daughter of U235 with a half life of 11 days whereas Pb212 come from Th232 wich is more likely since this is monazite...but with a half life of only 10 hours ... my calibration might need an update!

monazite.bmp - 3.6MB




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[*] posted on 14-9-2014 at 15:13


You should post some of your spectra as a reference on the sciencemadness wiki! They would be very useful.



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[*] posted on 15-9-2014 at 05:28


great idea! thanks Volatile.!



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[*] posted on 15-9-2014 at 13:48


Sure!I'm thinking about getting the equip. for this within the next few years.



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[*] posted on 16-9-2014 at 07:16


from personal experience the most important piece is the detector. if you go with a cheap one you wont get the resolution regardless if you go semi conductor or scintillator.
after that there is plenty of amplifier counter and software (free) to get a good clean signal processed.
good luck and have fun! i know it is for me!




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[*] posted on 8-8-2015 at 10:48


I have order a steel shield inside of what i have melted some lead for the detector...
it cost me way more than i thought it would and left a bitter taste in my mouth.....untill

resized well.jpg - 680kB

I am not finished with the lead melting process (over 200lbs is involve) the whole set up is looking a lot better than before .



resized lab.jpg - 814kB


and i had some interesting results with a substance i would never have suspected to contain any active material..
Zirconium dioxide
here is the gamma spectrum of about 2 lbs of ZrO2.



zirconium oxide.bmp - 2.9MB

after careful calibration i was able to identify the natural element involve in the weak radio activity of this otherwise neutral substance...





zirconium oxide spectrum.jpg - 296kB
click on the picture for better viewing.
I am running an X-ray spectrum right now but the detector being way more sensitive and much smaller this will take a while .Each peak will be a lot more defined but it only reads the spectrum untill about 330Kev ...so more results to come.


i beleive the chemical similarity of group 4 with the lanthanides (and actinides) allows some of those metals to be present in each other ore...
it would be interesting to see if they could be detected in Titanium and Hafnium salt as well...
we already know how Yttrium and some rare earth are often found with Thorium and vice versa..
maybe Zirconium is a big part of the impurities in Uranium processing..



[Edited on 8-8-2015 by neptunium]




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[*] posted on 8-8-2015 at 13:29


neptunium, this is very interesting! I did not know of the existence of this thread.

Where did you get your monazite?

I fear that your spectrometer is too costly for my budget, but I'd love to be able to play with such a thing.




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[*] posted on 8-8-2015 at 21:27


there is (was?)a guy on ebay selling it for cheap...
I acquire every pieces over the course of a year or 2 ... it was a long process but it paid off! some parts are cheaper than others thats true...




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[*] posted on 9-8-2015 at 12:18


Monazite is a Thorium rich ore but still contain small amount of Uranium, when Euxenite is clearly a Uranium rich mineral.
the gamma spectrum clearly confirmed the presense of both Th and U and the decay chain of each isotopes and also quantify
those metals ..
here is the 2 spectrums for comparaison


monbazite euxenite compare 2.bmp - 2.2MB




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[*] posted on 9-8-2015 at 12:50


Quote: Originally posted by neptunium  
there is (was?)a guy on ebay selling it for cheap...
I acquire every pieces over the course of a year or 2 ... it was a long process but it paid off! some parts are cheaper than others thats true...


I just bought 1 lb of monazite ore for $21 on eBay $15/lb plus $6 shipping), it was sourced to New Mexico.

If any SM members live in North Carolina there is a river that is a good source of monazite sand, much easier than gold panning. Unlike the ore (perhaps), monazite sand is usually concentrated monazite. I am sure monazite sand would find willing buyers here.
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[*] posted on 9-8-2015 at 19:29


yeah!.........you should send me a sample!



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[*] posted on 9-8-2015 at 19:39


Quote: Originally posted by careysub  
Quote: Originally posted by neptunium  
there is (was?)a guy on ebay selling it for cheap...
I acquire every pieces over the course of a year or 2 ... it was a long process but it paid off! some parts are cheaper than others thats true...


I just bought 1 lb of monazite ore for $21 on eBay $15/lb plus $6 shipping), it was sourced to New Mexico.

If any SM members live in North Carolina there is a river that is a good source of monazite sand, much easier than gold panning. Unlike the ore (perhaps), monazite sand is usually concentrated monazite. I am sure monazite sand would find willing buyers here.
I've taken a look at that area of NC too. It looks very promising indeed. I know that there's a couple of members who live within a few hours of there. I mentioned it to them once in the Skype group a while back, but didn't discuss it a whole lot. I'll bring it up again and see if they're interested in it. I'd definitely like to get a sample too.



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[*] posted on 9-8-2015 at 19:52


Hi, careysub, I just bought 1lb of that monazite, too. It was a good deal.

A while back I spent a lot of time thinking about thorium, and I looked for monazite. There was none available, so now it's surprising to see it. I did find some thorium nitrate reagent, and bought a small amount.

To tell you the truth, I hesitated to buy the monazite, since I'm not sure I'll use it for anything and the radon is a concern. Also, some day someone will have to dispose of it. Actually it was the radon which caught my interest in the first place, since it has a dramatic effect in a cloud chamber (this is the radon in the thorium decay chain, not the one in the uranium chain).

But something tells me it's going to get harder and harder to get things like this, so I decided to take it.




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[*] posted on 10-8-2015 at 14:35


Quote: Originally posted by annaandherdad  
Hi, careysub, I just bought 1lb of that monazite, too. It was a good deal.

A while back I spent a lot of time thinking about thorium, and I looked for monazite. There was none available, so now it's surprising to see it. I did find some thorium nitrate reagent, and bought a small amount.

...
But something tells me it's going to get harder and harder to get things like this, so I decided to take it.


You got that right. The seller tells me that the monazite deposit has been assayed with microprobe technology at 7-9.5%. This is by far the cheapest source of thorium I have seen in the couple of years I have been looking.

Here are some papers on this monazite source:
https://nmgs.nmt.edu/publications/guidebooks/downloads/62/62...

http://geoinfo.nmt.edu/publications/periodicals/nmg/10/n2/nm...

http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/32413...

http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2010/5220/downloads/SIR10-5220.pdf

Keep your monazite in an airtight box (or outside, it is after all, a rock). The radon risk is nothing to sneeze, but you simply need to have proper storage. The risk from thorium radon is much less that with uranium due to the very short half-life (55 seconds) but thorium ore often contains uranium as well. The Petaca monazites apparently always have less than 1% U however.


[Edited on 10-8-2015 by careysub]
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[*] posted on 1-10-2015 at 07:05


here is for your consideration Radium 226 (old Radium dial...)
some daughter of Ra226 are visible (nevermind the cursor on Tl)
giving Radium`s half life this should be interesting ...
the scale at the bottom has been calibrated.

radium 226.bmp - 2.9MB

[Edited on 1-10-2015 by neptunium]




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[*] posted on 5-10-2015 at 12:27


Very nice work! I live in Ohio, perhaps eventually a trip to NC would be fun.



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