A rapid, simple, and low-blank pumped ion-exchange column chromatography technique for boron purification from carbonate and seawater matrices

Chen Xu*, Hana Jurikova, Sophie Nuber, Robert C. J. Steele, Molly D. Trudgill, Stephen Barker, Caroline H Lear, Andrea Burke, James W. B. Rae

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Boron isotope ratios (δ11B) are used across the Earth Sciences and are increasing analyzed by Multi-Collector Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (MC-ICPMS). Accurate δ11B MC-ICPMS analysis requires boron purification from the sample matrix using ion-exchange column chromatography. However, the traditional gravity-drip column method is time-consuming and prone to airborne contamination due to its long duration and open resin surface. To address these issues, we designed a novel, simple, and reliable column chromatography technique called “peri-columns.” This method uses a peristaltic pump to generate vacuum on a commonly used column set up. This method uses sealed collection beakers and does not require solutions to pass through pump tubing, minimizing contamination. The duration is reduced by eight-fold, processing 12 samples in just 1.5 hr. It also yields low and consistent total procedural blanks, averaging 11 pg. The efficiency and efficacy of this method were tested by repeated boron purification from calcium carbonate and high-sodium matrices with international and in-house reference materials. The results matched those obtained using the gravity column method and fell within our laboratory long-term and international certified values. The mean δ11B and 2SD (standard deviation) of repeatedly processed NIST 8301f were 14.57 ± 0.26‰ (n = 31), NIST 8301c was 24.19 ± 0.33‰ (n = 10), STAiG-F1 was 16.20 ± 0.26‰ (n = 13), and seawater was 39.52 ± 0.32‰ (n = 10). All the components of our techniques are commercially available, and it is easily adaptable to other laboratories and isotope systems.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2023GC011228
Number of pages13
JournalGeochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jan 2024

Keywords

  • Boron isotope
  • Column chromatography
  • Boron purification

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