Mineralisation of atmospheric aerosol particles and further analysis of trace elements by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry

Several protocols using different treatments (various mixtures of acids at different temperatures for mineralisation) or using several analysis instrumentations were tested with the aim to define the method allowing the analysis of some groups of elements. This study proposes a protocol of sample treatment and analysis permitting in a single batch the determination of 16 elements (Al, As, Ba, Cd, Co, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Na, Ni, Pb, Ti, V and Zn) with different chemical features such as volatile or refractory trace elements. This method is specifically adapted to chemical matrices found in unpolluted to moderately polluted atmospheric aerosol samples. Aerosol samples were digested using a mixture aqua regia/hydrofluoric acid at 130°C during 2 h, and were then analysed with specifically tuned inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry. The results showed: Reduction of costs: use of hot block, use of inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES), easiness, reliability and adaptability to routine analysis Digestion of up to 54 samples at the same time in 2 h and low amount of material required, only 10 mg is necessary. Better accordance with Occupational Health and Safety requirements (reduced use of acids, in particular HF, no use of high-pressure Teflon bombs).

Authors: Dufour A, Migon C. ;Full Source: MethodsX. 2017 Jun 13; 4:191-198. doi: 10.1016/j.mex.2017.05.002. eCollection 2017. ;