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Author: Subject: Is potassium 40 ever isolated ?
metalresearcher
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[*] posted on 9-9-2017 at 05:29
Is potassium 40 ever isolated ?


This isotope, occurring only 1:8600 in natural K, is slightly radioactive.
Is it ever isolated, like isolating deuterium(-oxide) from water ? Obviously not in an amateur lab, but a professional nuclear physics lab like in Dubna.

Our body contains 20mg of K-40, equivalent to a pearl with a diameter of 3.5mm.




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[*] posted on 9-9-2017 at 06:22


You can buy it.
https://www.isotopes.gov/catalog/product.php?element=Potassi...
I imagine you would need deep pockets.
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metalresearcher
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[*] posted on 10-9-2017 at 04:13


Quote: Originally posted by unionised  
You can buy it.
https://www.isotopes.gov/catalog/product.php?element=Potassi...
I imagine you would need deep pockets.


The K-40 sold by isotopes.gov is only 3-4% pure, so not well isolated. So I think that it is technically not possible or only with very hight tech equipment in nanogram quantities.




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[*] posted on 10-9-2017 at 05:04


I don't know how they get it to 4%, but if they took the stuff that's 4% and ran it through the same process again repeatedly I'm sure they could end up with a high purity material.
Also, if you are prepared to accept microscopic quantities then anyone running an ICP/MS analysis of potassium will separate out the 40 mass unit isotope.
But they won't keep it separate.

If you had enough money you could certainly get pure (ish) 40K.
Why do you ask?
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[*] posted on 10-9-2017 at 05:21


Worst case scenario it still ought to be easier than separating Uranium isotopes. (less relative mass difference than potassium isotopes)

We sure do lot of that, and we get those to well over 90% purity.

I bet the 4% is 4% because that's high enough for whatever purpose it's generally used for. Isotopic tagging maybe? making radioactive sports drinks? who knows?

Well actually probably quite a few people here know, but I'm not one of them.

[Edited on 10-9-2017 by SWIM]
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metalresearcher
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[*] posted on 10-9-2017 at 08:34


Quote: Originally posted by unionised  
I don't know how they get it to 4%, but if they took the stuff that's 4% and ran it through the same process again repeatedly I'm sure they could end up with a high purity material.
Also, if you are prepared to accept microscopic quantities then anyone running an ICP/MS analysis of potassium will separate out the 40 mass unit isotope.
But they won't keep it separate.

If you had enough money you could certainly get pure (ish) 40K.
Why do you ask?


Just for curiosity, I am not interested buying anything.
But in natural K, the K-40 is between K-39 (94%) and K-41 (6%), so the tiny amount of K-40 (1/8600) must be hard to isolate.
Or first isolate pure K-39 and then separate the remaining K-40 and 41 which is then in a ratio (100/6) * 1/8600 which is about 1:500.
Again, not suitable for an amateur lab.


[Edited on 2017-9-10 by metalresearcher]




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