Triethylamine-assisted Mg(OH)(2) coprecipitation/preconcentration for determination of trace metals and rare earth elements in seawater by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS)

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Arslan Z., Oymak T. , White J.

ANALYTICA CHIMICA ACTA, vol.1008, pp.18-28, 2018 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 1008
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.aca.2018.01.017
  • Title of Journal : ANALYTICA CHIMICA ACTA
  • Page Numbers: pp.18-28


In this paper, we report an improved magnesium hydroxide, Mg(OH)(2), coprecipitation method for the determination of 16 trace elements (Al, V, Cr, Mn, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Ga, As, Se, Sb, Sn and Pb) and 18 rare earth elements (REEs), including Sc, Y, U and Th in seawater and estuarine water samples. The procedure involves coprecipitation of the trace elements and REEs on Mg(OH)(2) upon addition of a small volume of triethylamine (TEA) followed by analysis of the dissolved pellet solutions by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Three-step sequential coprecipitation was carried out on 10 mL aliquots of seawater to eliminate the matrix ions and to preconcentrate the analytes of interest into a 1 mL final volume. Spike recoveries varied from 85% (Th) to 105% (Y). Calcium (Ca), sodium (Na) and potassium (K) matrices were virtually eliminated from the analysis solutions. Collision reaction interface (CRI) technology utilizing H-2 and He gases was employed to determine its effectiveness in removing the spectral interferences originating from the residual Mg matrix, TEA and plasma gases. H2 was more effective than He in reducing spectral interferences from TEA and plasma gases. Limits of detection (LODs) ranged from 0.01 ng L-1 (Ho) to 72 ng L-1 (Al). The method was validated by using certified seawater (CASS-4) and estuarine water (SLEW-3) reference materials. Precision for five (n = 5) replicate measurements were between 1.2% (Pr) and 18% (Lu). Fe, Pb, Sn, and Zn impurities in TEA were significant in comparison to the levels in CASS-4 and SLEW-3, while relatively high background signals impacted determinations of low levels of Sc and Th. The effects of these hurdles on precision and accuracy were alleviated by measuring these elements in spiked CASS-4 and SLEW-3. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.