Improved Detection with Heavy Metal Vapor

Improved Detection with Heavy Metal Vapor

Author: David Bradley

Researchers at Jackson State University, USA, and colleagues in Turkey have used potassium hexacyanochromate(III) for the first time to help them generate volatile cadmium compounds from any trace quantities of cadmium present in an environmental or other analytical sample. Their chemical vapor generation process then allows them to detect any cadmium that was present in the sample using ICP-MS (inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry). This approach allows the team to generate the volatile cadmium species rapidly before the chromate reagent degrades, a problem with earlier approaches.

The team adds that their approach is immune to interference from other metals that might be present in the sample down to micrograms per milliliter concentrations. They point out that the approach could be made even more sensitive by coupling the technique to flame atomic absorption (FAAS), for instance.

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