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Application of Microwave Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometry (MP-AES) for environmental monitoring of industrially contaminated sites in Hyderabad City

Abstract

Recently introduced microwave plasma-atomic emission spectroscopy (MP-AES) represents yet another and very important addition to the existing array of modern instrumental analytical techniques. In this study, an attempt is made to summarize the performance characteristics of MP-AES and its potential as an analytical tool for environmental studies with some practical examples from Patancheru and Uppal industrial sectors of Hyderabad city. A range of soil, sediment, water reference materials, particulate matter, and real-life samples were chosen to evaluate the performance of this new analytical technique. Analytical wavelengths were selected considering the interference effects of other concomitant elements present in different sample solutions. The detection limits for several elements were found to be in the range from 0.05 to 5 ng/g. The trace metals analyzed in both the sectors followed the topography with more pollution in the low-lying sites. The metal contents were found to be more in ground waters than surface waters. Since a decade, the pollutants are transfered from Patancheru industrial area to Musi River. After polluting Nakkavagu and turning huge tracts of agricultural lands barren besides making people residing along the rivulet impotent and sick, industrialists of Patancheru are shifting the effluents to downstream of Musi River through an 18-km pipeline from Patancheru. Since the effluent undergoes primary treatment at Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) at Patanchru and travels through pipeline and mixes with sewage, the organic effluents will be diluted. But the inorganic pollutants such as heavy and toxic metals tend to accumulate in the environmental segments near and downstreams of Musi River. The data generated by MP-AES of toxic metals like Zn, Cu, and Cr in the ground and surface waters can only be attributed to pollution from Patancheru since no other sources are available to Musi River.

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Acknowledgements

CSIR–National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad, is thanked for giving permission to publish this work. Authors CTK, VB, MSN and KSVS are thankful to Director, NGRI for the support rendered to carryout this research activity. CTK gratefully acknowledges the financial support from CSIR, New Delhi, in the form of “CSIR-RA fellowship.” VB acknowledges the financial support from Emeritus Scientist Scheme by CSIR, New Delhi.

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Kamala C. T., Balaram V., Dharmendra V. et al. Application of Microwave Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometry (MP-AES) for environmental monitoring of industrially contaminated sites in Hyderabad City. Environ Monit Assess 186, 7097–7113 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-014-3913-4

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Keywords

  • Metal analysis
  • MP-AES
  • Environmental segments
  • Patancheru and Uppal industrial sectors
  • Musi River