Amalgam electrode-based electrochemical detector for on-site direct determination of cadmium(II) and lead(II) from soils
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Toxic metal contamination of the environment is a global issue. In this paper, we present a low-cost and rapid production of amalgam electrodes used for determination of Cd(II) and Pb(II) in environmental samples (soils and wastewaters) by on-site analysis using difference pulse voltammetry. Changes in the electrochemical signals were recorded with a miniaturized potentiostat (width: 80 mm, depth: 54 mm, height: 23 mm) and a portable computer. The limit of detection (LOD) was calculated for the geometric surface of the working electrode 15 mm(2) that can be varied as required for analysis. The LODs were 80 ng.mL(-1) for Cd(II) and 50 ng.mL(-1) for Pb(II), relative standard deviation, RSD <= 8% (n = 3). The area of interest (Dolni Rozinka, Czech Republic) was selected because there is a deposit of uranium ore and extreme anthropogenic activity. Environmental samples were taken directly on-site and immediately analysed. Duration of a single analysis was approximately two minutes. The average concentrations of Cd(II) and Pb(II) in this area were below the global average. The obtained values were verified (correlated) by standard electrochemical methods based on hanging drop electrodes and were in good agreement. The advantages of this method are its cost and time effectivity (approximately two minutes per one sample) with direct analysis of turbid samples (soil leach) in a 2 M HNO3 environment. This type of sample cannot be analyzed using the classical analytical methods without pretreatment.
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SourceSENSORS. 2017, vol. 17, issue 8, p. 1-12.