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Issue 14, 2011
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New solid-phase-nanoscavenger for the analytical enrichment of mercury from water

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Abstract

A nanoscavenger of mercaptopropyl-modified silica microparticles has been developed for the determination of trace levels of mercury(II) in water. The synthesis of silica microparticles nanoscavengers is carried out by modification of pre-formed silica particles with mercaptopropyltrimethoxysilane or by incorporating the thiol modification agent during the growth of the silica particles. The silica nanoscavengers were characterized by SEM, TGA, particle analyzer, IR and the parameters influencing the extraction and recovery phases of the preconcentration process were performed by AAS. The results show that careful choice of particle size and surface characteristics produce a new mercapto-silica-nanoscavenger that disperses in water as a quasi-stable sol. This permits the facile recovery of the mercury-loaded nanoscavenger particles. No agitation is required during the mercury extraction as the dispersion is maintained by Brownian motion and slow gravitational sedimentation. The technique overcomes a number of problems, such as cross-contamination and decreases in mercury concentration during sample transportation to the laboratory. Recovery achieved reaches >97 ± 4% over a wide range of preconcentration factors. At a preconcentration factor of 50 the limit of detection (3σ) was 0.19 ng mL−1. The method is environmentally friendly as only 300 mg of mercapto-nanoscavenger is used, no organic solvent is required for the extraction and the experiment is performed without the need for manual or mechanical agitation.

Graphical abstract: New solid-phase-nanoscavenger for the analytical enrichment of mercury from water

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Publication details

The article was received on 27 Jan 2011, accepted on 18 May 2011 and first published on 08 Jun 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C1AN15075H
Analyst, 2011,136, 3004-3009

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    New solid-phase-nanoscavenger for the analytical enrichment of mercury from water

    N. H. Khdary and A. G. Howard, Analyst, 2011, 136, 3004
    DOI: 10.1039/C1AN15075H

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