Falter, R; Ilgen, G: Determination of trace amounts of methylmercury in sediment and biological tissue by using water vapor distillation in combination with RP C18 preconcentration and HPLC-HPF/HHPN-ICP-MS, Fresenius J. Analytical Chemistry, 358, 401-406 (1997), doi:DOI: 10.1007/s002160050437
A novel technique has been developed for the determination of trace amounts of methylmercury in sediment and biological tissues. The well known water vapor distillation technique for the isolation of methylmercury from different matrices was coupled with an RP C18 preconcentration using dithiocarbamate complexation. A newly developed HPLC-method allowed the separation of five different mercury species at different mercury masses with HPF/HHPN (High-Performance-Flow/Hydraulic-High-Pressure-Nebulizing) and detection by ICP-MS. The method takes advantage of the ability to measure individual isotopes. Recoveries of the water vapor distillation procedure samples for different mercury compounds from sediment were tested. For methylmercury, the detection limit for a 0.5 g sample was calculated to be 0.025 mg/kg. The new technique was assured using different reference materials.
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