Analytical Sciences

Abstract − Analytical Sciences, 19(5), 743 (2003).

Determination of Mercury(II) Ion by Electrochemical Cold Vapor Generation Atomic Absorption Spectrometry
M. Hosein ARBAB-ZAVAR,  G. Hosein ROUNAGHI, Mahmoud CHAMSAZ, and Mahboube MASROURNIA
Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, Ferdowsi University, Mashhad, Iran
A technique for determination of mercury is described; it is based on electrolytic reduction of Hg(II) ion on a graphite cathode, the trapping of mercury vapor and its volatilization into a quartz tube aligned in the optical path of an atomic absorption spectrometer. The electrochemical cell consisted of a graphite cathode and an anode operating with constant direct current for the production of mercury atoms. A pre-activated graphite rod was used as the cathode material. The optimum conditions for electrochemical generation of mercury cold vapor (the electrolysis time and current, the flow rate, the type of electrode and electrolyte) were investigated. The characteristic electrochemical data with chemical cold vapor using NaBH4-acid were compared. The presence of cadmium(II), arsenic(III),antimony(III), selenium(IV), bismuth(III), silver(I), lead(II), lithium(I), sodium(I) and potassium(I) showed interference effects which were eliminated by suitable separation techniques. The calibration curve is linear over the range of 5 - 90 ng ml-1 mercury(II). The detection limit is 2 ng ml-1 of Hg(II) and the RSD is 2.5% (n = 10) for 40 ng ml-1. The accuracy and recovery of the method were investigated by analyzing spiked tap water and river water.