Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Duane P. Matthees


A flameless atomic absorption method of determining trace amounts of tellurium in acidic -media with sym-diphenylthiourea has been studied. Tellurium is extracted almost quantitatively from 4-8 M hydrochloric acid with a chloroform solution of sym-diphenylthiourea. The effects of interfering ions on the extraction efficiency have been studied. Conditions for the maximum extraction have been described. Optimal instrument parameters for the analysis of extracts have been determined. In most biological samples tellurium is found only in trace quantities. The necessity to determine traces of tellurium has raised difficult problems for analysts. The purpose of this investigation was to develop a technique sensitive enough to determine trace quantities of the element. This method was based on the techniques of solvent extraction and flameless atomic absorption. Solvent extraction methods have given good results when applied to the separation of many elements. Extraction of the tellurium may result in fewer interferences because of separation from the matrix components. This procedure can also be used for concentration of the analyte. Flameless atomic absorption was chosen for the detection of tellurium because it offers a high degree of sensitivity.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Tellurium -- Analysis
Atomic absorption spectroscopy



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University