Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 186, Issue 1, pp 367–373 | Cite as

Flow injection analysis of trace chromium (VI) in drinking water with a liquid waveguide capillary cell and spectrophotometric detection

  • Jian MaEmail author
  • Dongxing Yuan
  • Robert H. Byrne


Hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) is an acknowledged hazardous material in drinking waters. As such, effective monitoring and assessment of the risks posed by Cr(VI) are important analytical objectives for both human health and environmental science. However, because of the lack of highly sensitive, rapid, and simple procedures, a relatively limited number of studies have been carried out in this field. Here we report a simple and sensitive analytical procedure of flow injection analysis (FIA) for sub-nanomolar Cr(VI) in drinking water samples with a liquid core waveguide capillary cell (LWCC). The procedure is based on a highly selective reaction between 1, 5-diphenylcarbazide and Cr(VI) under acidic conditions. The optimized experimental parameters included reagent concentrations, injection volume, length of mixing coil, and flow rate. Measurements at 540 nm, and a 650-nm reference wavelength, produced a 0.12-nM detection limit. Relative standard deviations for 1, 2, and 10 nM samples were 5.6, 3.6, and 0.72 % (n = 9), and the analysis time was <2 min sample−1. The effects of salinity and interfering ions, especially Fe(III), were evaluated. Using the FIA-LWCC method, different sources of bottled waters and tap waters were examined. The Cr(VI) concentrations of the bottled waters ranged from the detection limit to ∼20 nM, and tap waters collected from the same community supply had Cr(VI) concentration around 14 nM.


Liquid waveguide capillary cell Flow injection analysis Nanomolar detection limit Chromium (VI) Drinking water Spectrophotometry 



This work was financially supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (0270-ZK1008).

Supplementary material

10661_2013_3381_MOESM1_ESM.docx (31 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 31 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science, College of Environment and EcologyXiamen UniversityXiamenChina
  2. 2.College of Marine ScienceUniversity of South FloridaSt. PetersburgUSA

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