The present invention provides an apparatus and rapid methods for extracting strontium ions from urine to provide a concentrated and purified strontium-90 extract suitable for scintillation measurements. The methods remove organic compounds, pigments, and alkali metal ions that can interfere with quantitative determination of strontium-90 in urine. A method of the invention comprises acidifying urine and removing organic pigments therefrom, loading a known quantity of so-treated urine onto a diphosphonic acid-based ion-exchange resin; flowing aqueous methanesulfonic acid through the diphosphonic acid-based ion-exchange resin to elute alkali metal ions therefrom; eluting strontium ions off of the diphosphonic acid-based resin and on to a strontium extraction chromatographic resin with a concentrated aqueous nitric acid solution; subsequently flowing water or a dilute acid stripping solution through the strontium extraction resin to strip the strontium from the strontium extraction resin; and collecting the strontium-containing stripping solution eluting from the strontium extraction resin.
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION
 The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357 between the United States Government and UChicago Argonne, LLC representing Argonne National Laboratory.