Volume 8, Issue 8 (September 2011)
Beryllium Measurement by Optical Fluorescence in Samples Contaminated by Strongly Fluorescent Impurities
A fluorescence method for determination of beryllium and beryllium oxide particles has been approved as a standard test method by ASTM International and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The procedure involves dissolution of samples in ammonium bifluoride solution and adding a small aliquot of extract to a basic hydroxybenzoquinoline sulfonate fluorescent dye and measuring itsfluorescence. This method is specific to beryllium and is not affected by the presence of other metals. However, the results from such a method may be compromised by organic fluorescent impurities which have optical characteristics similar to the beryllium-bonded hydroxybenzoquinoline sulfonate. This study demonstrates that such impurities can be effectively removed by activated charcoal without compromising the sensitivity of the method or any other test attributes.