Mohamed T, Strohaber J, Nava R, Kolomenskii A, Thonnard N, Schuessler HA
A portable apparatus for the separation of krypton from environmental air samples was tested. The apparatus is based on the cryogenic trapping of gases at liquid nitrogen temperature followed by controlled releases at higher temperatures. The setup consists of a liquid nitrogen trap for the removal of H(2)O and CO(2), followed by charcoal-filled coils that sequentially collect and release krypton and other gases providing four stages of gas chromatography to achieve separation and purification of krypton from mainly N(2), O(2), and Ar. Residual reactive gases remaining after the final stage of chromatography are removed with a hot Ti sponge getter. A thermal conductivity detector is used to monitor the characteristic elution times of the various components of condensed gases in the traps during step-wise warming of the traps from liquid nitrogen temperatures to 0 °C, and then to 100 °C. This allows optimizing the switching times of the valves between the stages of gas chromatography so that mainly krypton is selected and loaded to the next stage while exhausting the other gases using a He carrier. A krypton separation efficiency of ~80 % was determined using a quadrupole mass spectrometer.
Mohamed T, Strohaber J, Nava R, Kolomenskii A, Thonnard N, Schuessler HA. 2012. Krypton separation from ambient air for application in collinear fast beam laser spectroscopy. Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry 23:1260-1265.