Voltammetric determination of herbicide molinate in river water and rice samples using solid silver amalgam electrode fabricated with nanoparticles

The evaluation of the voltammetric behaviour and the determination of herbicide molinate were performed for the first time over the surface of solid amalgam electrode fabricated with silver nanoparticles using cyclic voltammetry and square-wave voltammetry techniques. The experimental and instrumental parameters were evaluated to reach the maximum analytical response for molinate. It was achieved when a medium composed of 0.04 mol L−1 Britton–Robinson buffer at the pH value of 4.0 was used. Under these conditions, molinate showed one pronounced reduction peak at Ep = −0.37 V (vs. Ag/AgCl 3 mol L−1) that was characterised as an irreversible system. An analytical curve was constructed at the concentration range from 9.36 to 243.49 µg L−1 and a limit of detection of 2.34 µg L−1 was obtained. The amalgam electrode presented good stability during the measurements with relative standard deviation (RSD) values of 2.9% for the repeatability and 5.4% for the reproducibility. The voltammetric method developed here could be conveniently applied for the determination of molinate in river water and rice spiked samples at levels below those established on the legislations of European Union and Brazil with good accuracy (RSD of less than 5% for all samples). Comparison with HPLC technique was carried out and the results indicated satisfactory concordance. According to the results depicted here, the silver nanoparticles solid amalgam electrode showed itself highly sensitive and an interesting alternative for the routine analysis of molinate in water and food samples. Furthermore, it introduces an environmentally acceptable alternative to the mercury electrodes, most commonly used for determination of reducible pesticides.