Iron Samples for Neutron Activation Analysis

Chemical Engineering

Accession Number: 2019.che.138

Description:

A small, white-coloured cardboard box contains six labelled samples in glass phials with translucent plastic caps. The box and phials are labelled with paper labels, marked in blue pen and covered with yellowing clear tape. The samples are labelled 1 to 7. Sample 5 is missing.

The glass phials contain powdered iron.

Alternative Name: Iron Samples for Nutrition Study

Primary Materials: Plastic, Iron, Paper.

Markings:

The label on the top surface of the box lid reads:
“Dr.I Motzok// Dept of Nutrition // University of Guelph// Guelph PNT. NIG 2W1

The samples are labelled as follows:
“#1 Electrolytic iron// I. Motzok” This sample has a red “X” marked on its lid.
“#2 H2 Reduced Iron// Univ of Guelph I. Motzok” This sample has a red “X” marked on its lid.
“#3 Co Reduced Iron // Univ. of Guelph I. Motzok” This sample has a red “X” marked on its lid.
“#4 Carbonyl Iron// GAF Corp.// Univ. of Guelph I. Motzok” This sample has a red “X” marked on its lid.
“#6 H2 Reduced Iron // Amox// Univ. of Guelph I. Motzok”
“#7 Reduced Iron // Dry NH[?]// Univ. of Guelph I. Motzok”

Dimensions (cm):

(Box) Height = 5.7, Width = 6.7, Length = 6.5.

Function:

These samples were used in one of several nutritional studies. They were subjected to neutron activation analysis at the SLOWPOKE research reactor at the University of Toronto.

Condition:

Good: One sample seems to be missing. The adhesive of the clear tape covering the labels on the box and samples has become yellow and brittle.

Manufacturer:

Dept of Nutrition, University of Guelph.

Date of Manufacture: Late 20th century.

Provenance:

These samples were used in one of several nutritional studies, led by Dr. Illary Motzok of the University of Guelph in the mid-to-late 1970s, involving the bioavailability of reduced iron when used as a food supplement. These samples were studied using Neutron Activation Analysis at the University of Toronto SLOWPOKE research reactor.

According to the recollections of Dr. Ron Hancock, the former Director of the SLOWPOKE lab, and a coauthor on some of Dr. Motzok’s papers, these samples belong to a study in which iron samples were obtained from two sources, one in Sweden, one in the United States. The samples from one of these sources did not dissolve as expected in the conditions of a simulated digested system. Neutron activation analysis revealed that a high level of impurities that impeded the dissolution.

These samples were acquired during a visit t to Dr. Hancock’s home on May 15th, 2019.

Historical Notes:

IN 1971 a SLOWPOKE 1 research reactor, designed and commissioned at Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) in Chalk River, Ontario, was installed at the University of Toronto. In 1976, this was replaced by a commercial SLOWPOKE II reactor. The SLOWPOKE laboratory operated at the Department of Chemical Engineering until the reactor was decommissioned in 1998. It focused on neutron activation analysis.

Dr. Hancock was Reactor Supervisor at the SLOWPOKE lab from 1971 to 1993, and Director of the lab from 1993 to 1998.

  • Donated to UTSIC