Comparison of acid extraction and total digestion methods for measuring Cd isotope ratios of environmental samples

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To evaluate the pretreatment processing for Cd isotope analysis of environmental samples, acid extractions and total digestions were examined with various environmental certified reference materials. Four certified reference material samples, including fly ash, polluted soil, domestic sludge, and industrial sludge, were digested by six different acid extraction and total digestion methods, and then Cd was separated to remove other matrix by anion-exchange column. The Cd recovery rates of the acid extraction methods were 2.6–89.1%, while those of the total digestion methods were 21.6–88.7%. In these results, the Cd recovery rates were dependent on the sample type. More than 80% of the Cd in the polluted soil and domestic sludge samples could be recovered regardless of the decomposition method, except one method. On the other hand, the Cd recovery rate from fly ash was low when total digestion was performed using a HF mixture, and the recovery rate by total digestion methods for industrial sludge was higher than that by acid extraction. In our results, Cd isotope ratios tended to be more positive by increasing the Cd recovery rates, suggesting that the light isotope of Cd was decomposed preferentially during the decomposition procedures. However, when more than 80% of the Cd in the samples was recovered, the Cd isotope ratios were determined to be similar. This indicated that at least 80% of the Cd should be recovered from environmental samples to accurately measure the Cd isotopic ratio of environmental samples.

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Correspondence to Jong-Woo Choi.

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Park, J., Kim, J., Lee, K. et al. Comparison of acid extraction and total digestion methods for measuring Cd isotope ratios of environmental samples. Environ Monit Assess 192, 41 (2020).

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  • Cd isotope ratio
  • Multicollector-ICPMS
  • Cd recovery
  • Acid extraction
  • Total digestion