2013 Atomic spectrometry update—A review of advances in environmental analysis
This is the 29th annual review of the application of atomic spectrometry to the chemical analysis of environmental samples. This Update refers to papers published approximately between September 2012 and July 2013 and continues the series of Atomic Spectrometry Updates (ASUs) in Environmental Analysis1 that should be read in conjunction with other related ASUs in the series namely: clinical and biological materials, foods and beverages;2 advances in atomic spectrometry and related techniques;3 elemental speciation;3 X-ray spectrometry4 and advances in the analysis of metals, chemicals and materials.5 In the field of air analysis, highlights within this review period include measuring the bioaccessible fraction of metals in particles and ongoing work in assessing the performance of optical and combustion techniques for the determination of the carbonaceous content of airborne particulate matter. Developments in instrumentation included new sampler designs for the collection of nanoparticles, the coupling of FFF and hydrodynamic chromatography to ICP-MS for the sizing and compositional analysis of such particles and the ongoing development of aerosol mass spectrometry. In the field of water analysis, new procedures for the detection and quantification of emerging pollutants in water such as MRI contrast agents have been developed. Instrumental developments reported include the use of molecular absorption spectrometry, by exploiting the CS-AAS technique, for measuring halogen species in water. Numerous articles involving the application of atomic spectrometry to plants, soils and related materials appeared in this review period but, as usual, most were concerned with the environmental significance of the results, rather than the methodology used to obtain them. Nevertheless, there have been some interesting developments. Both LIBS and PXRF spectrometry have been used more widely, variants such as LA-LIBS and microwave assisted LIBS have appeared, and PXRF spectrometry has been applied for the first time in the analysis of plants. Developments in geochemical analysis include the production and (re)certification of new geological RMs for bulk, isotopic and microspatial analysis. Optimisation of LA-ICP-MS techniques for the interrogation of geochemical samples continues to be reported and a number of useful instrumental review articles (AMS, ICP-MS and SIMS) have been published. Feedback on this review is most welcome and the review coordinator can be contacted using the email address provided.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Atomic Spectrometry Updates