Automated Analysis of Environmental and Water Samples for Total Metals and Elemental Species

Metals Analysis and Remediation
Oral Presentation

Prepared by C. Quarles Jr, P. Sullivan, N. Bohlim
Elemental Scientific, Inc., 7277 World Communications Drive, Omaha, Nebraska, 68122, United States

Contact Information: [email protected]; 706-251-0115


The routine analysis of environmental and/or water samples is important for monitoring/detecting harmful contaminants that pose health concerns. Elements such as Hg, Pb, and As are generally measured using ICP-MS due to its extremely low detection limit capability (ng/L and in some case fg/L levels). However, knowing the total elemental content does not tell the entire story: elements such as Cr, As, or Br can be present in elemental species of dramatically varied toxicity. Separation and quantitation of these elemental species (speciation) is accomplished chromatographically with ICP-MS as the elemental detector. In this work a prepFAST IC, an automated sample preparation and liquid chromatography system, is used to automate the analysis of total metals and elemental species. In addition, new software will be highlighted that allows samples to be automatically flagged for speciation based on measured levels. For example, if a sample is high in chromium it can be flagged and the software will automatically run that sample for chromium speciation with no user input required. This system combines two completely separate methods and instrument platforms into a single intelligent system interfaced to an ICPMS.