Improvements to the Quantitative Assay of Nonrefractory Minerals for Fe(II) and Total Fe Using 1,10-Phenanthroline

James E. Amonette
1998 Clays and clay minerals  
Abstraet--A method using 1,10-phenanthroline (phen) to quantify Fe(II) and total Fe in nonrefractory minerals was modified to improve the accuracy and precision and to eliminate the inconvenience of performing much of the analysis under darkroom conditions. Reagents were combined to minimize solution-handling errors, volumes of the reagent additions were determined gravimetrically and the acidmatrix solution was preheated to near-boiling before sample contact. The darkness requirement, which
more » ... quirement, which stems from the photoreduction of Fe(III) to Fe(II) in the presence of phen, was eliminated by the use of opaque amber-colored high-density-polyethylene bottles during the digestion step and for storage of the digestate and subsequent dilutions before Fe(II) analysis. Reduction of Fe(III) for total-Fe analysis was accomplished either by exposure to light from a Hg-vapor lamp or by reaction with hydroxylamine, NH2OH. Although the minimum periods required for adequate reduction ranged from 1.5 to 4 h, the optimum reduction periods were between 6 and 10 h. When standard samples containing Fe(II) and MnC12 were digested and analyzed for total-Fe using the light treatment (with incidental heating to 35-45 ~ significant decreases and in some instances, oscillations, in absorptivity were obtained. Similar experiments with NH2OH, or with CrC13 showed no effect. The absorptivity of most digestates stored in opaque bottles was stable for at least 2 weeks, although digestates with Mn concentrations above 3 ~g mL showed proportional decreases in absorptivity. Analysis of 8 geochemical reference materials by the modified method (using NH2OH) yielded excellent agreement with published values and a mean relative standard deviation of 0.6%. Total-Fe results obtained using the light treatment, however, were generally lower (-2% relative) than the NH2OH values, although this difference decreased with longer irradiation periods. Use of NH2OH was deemed preferable because it was simpler, faster, minimized interferences from Mn and eliminated the need for specialized apparatus. Lastly, MICA Fe was shown to be unreliable as a primary reference material for Fe(II) determinations.
doi:10.1346/ccmn.1998.0460106 fatcat:jhkqcz7qbbboxihhbkafdyrlrm