2008 Student Research Conference:
21st Annual Student Research Conference

The Development of a Cold Vapor Generator for the Determination of Mercury in Aqueous Environmental Samples
Patrick C. Kilgore
Dr. David McCurdy, Faculty Mentor

Mercury is a heavy metal often used to assess the health of biological and environmental samples, particularly in aquatic environments. There are several distinct challenges in the determination of mercury, primarily as a result of its high volatility and low natural occurrence. Cold Vapor Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry (CVAAS) is a powerful, cost effective method for the spectrophotometric determination of mercury. It can provide excellent detection limits and utilizes the volatility of mercury in order to reduce background and signal interferences. In our lab, a CVAAS system was designed, constructed, and optimized for the purpose of determining mercury in local aquatic environmental samples. The CVAAS instrument provided a wide range of linear calibration behavior, a limit of detection of 100 parts-per-trillion (0.1 ng mL-1), and excellent relative precision ( 7 %). This presentation will cover the design, construction, and performance of the instrument; as well as its application to environmental samples.

Keywords: Analytical Chemistry, Mercury, Atomic Absorption, Instrumentation, Water Quality, Environment

Topic(s):Chemistry

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 44-2
Location: VH 1320
Time: 3:00

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