Direct and Sensitive Detection of Mercury in Soil by Portable Electromagnetic Heating Vaporization and Purge-and-trap Followed by Microplasma Optical Emission Spectrometry
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    Abstract:

    To enhance sample throughput and avoid environmental pollution, it is crucial to develop an atomic spectrometry method for the direct and sensitive detection of heavy metals in soil samples. In this work, a portable analytical device integrating electromagnetic heating evaporation (EMHV), purge-and-trap (P&T), and miniature point discharge optical emission spectrometry (μPD-OES) was developed to determine mercury in soil without chemical pretreatment. This method involves converting soil mercury species into cold mercury vapor (Hg0), which is then evaporated from the sample using a low-power miniaturized EMHV device. The generated Hg0 is subsequently separated and trapped in a tube filled with gold-sand before μPD-OES analysis. This process not only preconcentrates the analyte but also achieves complete matrix separation before analysis, thereby reducing matrix interference and enhancing the sensitivity of the mercury detection. Under optimal experimental conditions, the limit of determination (LOD) for mercury was established at 0.25 μg kg-1 with a relative standard deviation (RSD) of 3.6% and a sample consumption of 60 mg. The accuracy and practicality of the EMHV-P&T-μPD-OES method were validated through the determination of mercury in two soil certified reference materials (CRMs) and five real soil samples. The analytical results agree well with the certified values of the CRMs, confirming the practicality of the proposed analytical system for soil mercury analysis.

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  • Online: June 09,2024
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