Mineral extraction: fluorine in copper concentrates by combustion ion chromatography

Detail of combustion ion chromatography system for halogen analysis by pyrohydrolysis

Copper concentrate is often contaminated with corrosive fluorine, which is why the fluorine concentration must be checked at regular intervals. Current laboratory techniques involve a long cumbersome fusion with a potentiometric ion-selective electrode finish. This method is prone to huge analytical errors. Combustion Ion Chromatography (CIC) offers a novel and robust method that is ideal for these types of samples.

CIC is a hyphenated technique combining sample digestion by pyrolysis and subsequent analysis by ion chromatography in an integrated, fully automated system.

In a first step, the sample is digested under an argon atmosphere and pyrolyzed in an oven unit. The resulting gaseous compounds are transferred into an absorption solution, which is then injected into an ion chromatograph for subsequent determination.

CIC as enabled by the 930 Metrohm Combustion IC is straightforward to use, making this method highly suitable for routine application.

Application Note AN-CIC-017 provides more detailed information and is available free from metrohm.com.

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