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Field analysis of mercury in water, sediment and soil using static headspace analysis

Description: We developed a field screening method for rapid analysis of Hg in water, soil, and sediment, which can be applied cost-effectively at Hg-contaminated sites. Samples are chemically pretreated in ordinary containers, followed by analysis of the sample headspace Hg vapor using a portable commercial analyzer. Hg in water samples is reduced directly by the addition of stannous chloride, while solids are first digested with aqua regia or piranha solution to liberate the Hg from the solids. Aided by vigorous agitation after adding the reductant, the elemental Hg partitions between solution and headspace according to Henry`s Law. The method requires about 2 and 15 minutes to complete for water and solids, respectively. The method provides very useful detection limits for water (0.1 {mu}g/L) and solids (2-3{mu}g/g). Intercomparisons with laboratory-analyzed environmental samples show good agreement.
Date: December 31, 1994
Creator: Kriger, A.A. & Turner, R.R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department