The determination of mercury at ultratrace levels using FIMS and amalgamation technique


Courtesy of PerkinElmer, Inc.

The PerkinElmer Flow Injection Mercury System (FIMS) is used in combination with an amalgama¬tion preconcentration technique to determine Hg at ultratrace concentrations. Using a 10-mL sample volume, the instrumental detection limit is 0.3 ng/L. The method detection limit obtained in drinking water is 1.0 ng/L with a spike recovery of 100 ± 4%. The operating conditions for the amalgamation system are optimized for the specific requirements of the FIMS system.

The Flow Injection Mercury System (FIMS) is a dedicated mercury system that integrates flow injection cold vapor mercury generation with a high-sensitivity mercury detector. The use of an intense line source, a long path measurement cell and an optimized detector provides instrumental detection limits as low as 5 ng/L using a sample volume of 500 |_iL.

If even lower detection limits are required — for example, for the determination of mercury at ult rat race levels in surface water and drinking water samples - then the FIMS can be coupled to the amalgamation accessory, a fully automated system for the preconcentration of mercury.

In this work, the FIMS parameters and the mani¬fold were optimized for use with an amalgamation system. This work is based on approved analytical procedures1 and on work previously reported using other PerkinElmer flow injection systems and the amalgamation technique2'3.

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