Neutron Activation Analysis Applied to Speciate Trace Elements in Freshwater
The evaluation of the eco-toxicological consequences of heavy metals on the biosphere requires an assessment of their biological effects. This involves the determination of the different ionic species and the various chemical forms of each element. For many elements, the usual electrochemical methods for analyzing different chemical species do not meet the required sensitivity; ppm or even ppb concentration ranges represent often the actual content of many matrices. For many elements such as V, Cr, As and Se, one of the most sensitive methods of trace determination (and one which goes down to ppb level) is neutron activation analysis or NAA. Unfortunately, this method gives information only on the total number of nuclei present regardless of their outer structure and chemical forms. In this work, some examples are given of the feasibility of NAA for the determination of trace amounts of different chemical species of some heavy metals, when coupled to specific separation procedures.
KeywordsNeutron Activation Analysis Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis Arsenic Speciation Chemical Yield Methylarsonic Acid
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