Arsenic speciation in water samples containing high levels of copper: removal of copper interference affecting arsine generation by continuous flow solid phase chelation
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A simple continuous flow method is proposed to eliminate copper interference in arsenic speciation by hydride generation, based on the selective retention of this interfering ion in an iminodiacetate chelating resin previous to the hydride generation process. The arsines generated were cold trapped and measured by ICP/OES. The proposed method allows about 98% of the copper present in the samples to be removed. Minor co-retention of As(V) was observed as a result of electrostatic interaction between the arsenate anion and the nitrogen of the iminodiacetate group of the chelating resin Muromac A-1, the charge distribution of which is modified when copper is chelated. The species As(III), MMA and DMA were not retained in the microcolumn, probably because these species are mainly in the molecular form at the working pH value (4.5). In synthetic samples containing 50 mu g l(-1) of each arsenic species together with 100 mg l(-1) copper, the recoveries obtained were: As(V) 97.6%, As(III) 100%, MMA 99.8%, and DMA 99.9%. The method was applied to arsenic speciation in river water samples containing high levels of copper.