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Open Access Open Badges Methodology

A method for generating uniform size-segregated pyrite particle fractions

Amy L Wolfe1*, Ran Liu23, Brian W Stewart1, Rosemary C Capo1 and David A Dzombak2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Geology and Planetary Science, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA

2 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA

3 ARRO Consulting, Inc., 270 Granite Run Drive, Lancaster, PA 17601, USA

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Geochemical Transactions 2007, 8:9  doi:10.1186/1467-4866-8-9

Published: 10 October 2007



Standardized sample preparation techniques allow comparison of pyrite dissolution experiments under diverse conditions. Our objective was to assess dry and wet sieving preparation methodologies, and to develop a reproducible technique that yields uniformly size-distributed material within a limited size range of interest.


Here, we describe a wet sieving preparation method that successfully concentrates pyrite particles within a 44–75 μm diameter range. In addition, this technique does not require a post-processing cleanup step to remove adhering particles, as those particles are removed during the procedure. We show that sample preparation methods not only affect the pyrite size distribution, but also apparent dissolution rates.


The presented methodology is non-destructive to the sample, uses readily available chemical equipment within the laboratory, and could be applied to minerals other than pyrite.