A bulk liquid membrane system has been developed and applied to the simultaneous separation and preconcentration of up to seven heavy metals (copper, zinc, lead, cadmium, aluminium, manganese, and nickel) in seawater. Copper was selected to optimize transport conditions and then, under these conditions, the simultaneous extraction of other heavy metals was studied. The system achieved preconcentration yields ranging between 44.11% (Cd) and 77.77% (Cu) after nine hours of operation, the effectiveness of metal transport being Cu > Zn > Pb > Mn > Ni > Al > Cd. The system was applied to the preconcentration of four real seawater samples before their quantification by inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry (ICP–MS). Compared with the analytical procedures commonly used for trace metal determination in oceanography, the results obtained demonstrated that the new system may be used as a very clean (sample contamination-free), simple, and one-step alternative for semiquantitative, and even quantitative, simultaneous determination of heavy metals in seawater.
Liquid membranes ICP–MS Seawater Heavy metals Preconcentration
Hill SJ, Arowolo TA, Butler OT, Cook JM, Cresser MS, Harrington C, Miles DL (2003) J Anal At Spectrom 18:170–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar