• Arsenic and germanium determination by hydride generation in the D.C. plasma optical emission spectrometer

      Ceccarelli, Claudio M.; Department of Chemistry (Brock University, 1986-07-09)
      Modifications to the commercial hydride generator, manufactured by Spectrametrics, resulted in improved operating procedure and enhancement of the arsenic and germanium signals. Experiments with arsenic(III) and arsenic(V) showed that identical reiults could be produced from both oxidation states. However, since arsenic(V) is reduced more slowly than arsenic(III), peak areas and not peak heights must be measured when the arsine is immediately stripped from the system (approximately 5 seconds reaction). When the reduction is allowed to proceed for 20 seconds before the arsine is stripped, peak heights may be used. For a 200 ng/mL solution, the relative standard deviation is 2.8% for As(III) and 3.8% for As(V). The detection limit for arsenic using the modified system is 0.50 ng/mL. Studies performed on As(V) standards show that the interferences from 1000 mg/L of nickel(II), cobalt(II), iron(III), copper(II), cadmium(II), and zinc(II) can be eliminated with the aid of 5 M Hel and 3% L-cystine. Conditions for the reduction of germanium to the corresponding hydride were investigated. The effect of different concentrations of HCl on the reduction of germanium to the covalent hydride in aqueous media by means of NaBH 4 solutions was assessed. Results show that the best response is accomplished at a pH of 1.7. The use of buffer solutions was similarly characterized. In both cases, results showed that the element is best reduced when the final pH of the solution after reaction is almost neutral. In addition, a more sensitive method, which includes the use of (NH4)2S208' has been developed. A 20% increase in the germanium signal is registered when compared to the signal achieved with Hel alone. Moreover, under these conditions, reduction of germanium could be accomplished, even when the solution's pH is neutral. For a 100 ng/mL germanium standard the rsd is 3%. The detection limit for germanium in 0.05 M Hel medium (pH 1.7) is 0.10 ng/mL and 0.09 ng/mL when ammonium persulphate is used in conjunction with Hel. Interferences from 1000 mg/L of iron(III), copper(II), cobalt(II), nickel(II), cadmium(II), lead(II), mercury(II), aluminum(III), tin(IV), arsenic(III), arsenic(V) and zinc(II) were studied and characterized. In this regard, the use of (NH4)ZS20S and Hel at a pH of 1.7 proved to be a successful mixture in the sbppression of the interferences caused by iron, copper, aluminum, tin, lead, and arsenic. The method was applied to the determination of germanium in cherts and iron ores. In addition, experiments with tin(IV) showed that a 15% increase in the tin signal can be accomplished in the presence of 1 mL of (NH4)2S20S 10% (m/V).