Simultaneous extraction and preconcentration of monomethylmercury and inorganic mercury using magnetic cellulose nanoparticles
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Magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticles were modified with nanocellulose and are showed to be a useful sorbent for magnetic solid-phase extraction of mercury species. Speciation analysis was performed by using gas chromatography coupled to atomic fluorescence detection (GC-pyro-AFS). The magnetic properties of the sorbent make this approach simple and rapid, and the use of a renewable and biodegradable nanomaterial (nanocellulose) makes it environmentally friendly. The factors that affect adsorption (pH value, amount of nanomaterial, time, volume of sample) and desorption (solvent, time) have been optimized. Both desorption and derivatization of mercury species were performed in a single step. This reduces considerably the sample preparation time. Under the optimized conditions, the limits of detection are 4.0 pg mL−1 for monomethylmercury and 5.6 pg mL−1 for inorganic mercury. The repeatability and reproducibility are satisfactory. The method enables inorganic mercury and monomethylmercury to be simultaneously extracted, with preconcentration factors up to 300. The potential interferences of organic matter and/or co-existing ions were also investigated using synthetic waters. The procedure was applied to the analysis of tap water and river water samples with different characteristics from a mercury polluted area (Almadén, Spain). The extraction recoveries ranged from 81 to 98% regardless of the type of water, which demonstrates the applicability of the method. This is the first time that this kind of sorbent is used for trace metal speciation.
KeywordsNanocellulose Magnetic solid phase extraction Monomethylmercury Inorganic mercury Water samples
The authors thank the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness for the financial support (Project CTQ2016-78793-P) to this work.
Compliance with ethical standards
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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