Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Summary Multi-element analysis by ICP source mass spectrometry for practically matrix-free natural waters, coming from a granitic area and, therefore, rich in trace elements, has been compared with ICP-atomic emission, ICP atomic fluorescence and atomic absorption spectrometry. The following elements have been investigated and their concentrations are in the decreasing order: Ca, Si, Na, Mg, K, Al; Sr, Mn, Ba, Fe, Rb, Zn, B, U, Y, Li, La, Be, Cs, Co, Cr, V, Sb, Bi, Th, Cu, Cd, Ni, Se, Pb, As, Hg, Mo, Tl, Sn. The concentration ranges were between 10 ppm and 〈0.01 ppb. As a measure of agreement between the different methods under investigation, two criteria have been used (a) the relative variation coefficient VK (%) of the mean element concentration of an element, determined by different methods in all the 98 water samples and (b) the linear, logarithmic and Spearman rank correlation coefficients between ICP-MS and each of the other methods. Detection limits are given from literature for about 32 elements using different methods. The elements Ca, Na, Mg, K, Mn, Sr, Zn, Fe, Li, Cu have been determined with ICP-MS, ICP-AES and AAS; Al, Ba with ICP-MS and ICP-AES; Si only with ICP-AES, whereas B, Be, Bi, Co, Cr, Cs, Hg, La, Mo, Ni, Pb, Rb, Sb, Sn, Th, Tl, U, V, Y only with ICP-MS. In all 34 of the investigated 36 elements could be analysed by ICP-MS, 14 (from about 20 possible) by AAS, 13 by ICP-AES and 12 by ICP-AFS. The agreement between ICP-MS and ICP-AES as well as between ICP-MS and AAS in most cases is remarkably good according to (a). VK (%) for each element in 98 water samples is in the range from ±2.6 to 10% for Na, Mg, Ca, K, Fe, Sr, Ba, Cu, Li (increasing order). Cd and Zn have unexpectedly higher values (±17.3 and ±20.5%); Cd concentrations are, however, near the detection limit. Comparing the different methods on the basis of correlation coefficients according to (b), gives for the Spearman rank correlation coefficient over the whole range of concentrations, respectively for ICP-MS/ICP-AES, AAS, ICP-AFS in case of Ca: 0.998; 0.984; 0.899; Na: 0.993; 0.991; 0.978; Mg: 0.997; 0.993; 0.959; K: 0.986; 0.942; 0.677; Al: 0.987; -; -; Fe: 0.864; 0.974; 0.701; Mn: 0.989; 0.990; 0.198; Sr: 0.988; 0.992; -; Zn: 0.894; 0.819; 0.300; Cu: -; 0.977; 0.202; Li: -; 0.907; 0.586. It is evident from these trace element concentrations as well as the electrical conductivities, that only about three fourths of the investigated samples are typical granitic waters and the remaining ones are associated with different geological background. The samples have been mainly radon waters with more than 18 nCi/l of Rn-222.
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