2013 Student Research Conference:
26th Annual Student Research Conference

Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometric Determination of Mercury Using a Homebuilt Flow Injection Cold Vapor Generator for Sample Introduction
Bryan C. Paulus* and Sanvy A. Yang
Dr. David McCurdy, Faculty Mentor

Concerns about the health effects of trace and ultra-trace mercury (Hg) in the environment have necessitated the development of suitable quantitative methods for low concentration measurements. In addition to the difficulties of measuring Hg at the part-per-billion level, the volatile chemical behavior of Hg creates difficulties in measuring mercury using commercially standard methods of elemental analysis, such as graphite furnace and flame atomic absorption spectrophotometric methods. A method called Cold Vapor Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry (CVAAS) has been developed and accepted as an EPA-approved technique for measuring sub-ppb level mercury, with better detection limits and less cost. Potential benefits of this new homebuilt device include rapid measurements, simpler operation, and better analytical performance. Included in the presentation will be a fundamental picture of the process of CVAAS, information on the design and construction of our system, and preliminary work on the optimization of the systems variables for best overall analytical performance.

Keywords: CVAAS, optimization, design, mercury


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 105-2
Location: MG 2090
Time: 8:15

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