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Flow Injection Photochemical Vapor Generation Coupled with Miniaturized Solution-Cathode Glow Discharge Atomic Emission Spectrometry for Determination and Speciation Analysis of Mercury

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journal contribution
posted on 01.09.2017, 00:00 by Jiamei Mo, Qing Li, Xiaohong Guo, Guoxia Zhang, Zheng Wang
A novel, compact, and green method was developed for the determination and speciation analysis of mercury, based on flow injection photochemical vapor generation (PVG) coupled with miniaturized solution cathode glow discharge-atomic emission spectroscopy (SCGD-AES). The SCGD was generated between a miniature hollow titanium tube and a solution emerging from a glass capillary. Cold mercury vapor (Hg(0)) was generated by PVG and subsequently delivered to the SCGD for excitation, and finally the emission signals were recorded by a miniaturized spectrograph. The detection limits (DLs) of Hg­(II) and methylmercury (MeHg) were both determined to be 0.2 μg L–1. Moreover, mercury speciation analysis could also be performed by using different wavelengths and powers from the UV lamp and irradiation times. Both Hg­(II) and MeHg can be converted to Hg(0) for the determination of total mercury (T-Hg) with 8 W/254 nm UV lamp and 60 s irradiation time; while only Hg­(II) can be reduced to Hg(0) and determined selectively with 4 W/365 nm UV lamp and 20 s irradiation time. Then, the concentration of MeHg can be calculated by subtracting the Hg­(II) from the T-Hg. Because of its similar sensitivity and DL at 8 W/254 nm, the simpler and less toxic Hg­(II) was used successfully as a primary standard for the quantification of T-Hg. The novel PVG-SCGD-AES system provides not only a 365-fold improvement in the DL for Hg­(II) but also a nonchromatographic method for the speciation analysis of mercury. After validating its accuracy, this method was successfully used for mercury speciation analysis of water and biological samples.