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Gas Chromatographic and Mass Spectrometric Analysis of Nitrilotriacetic Acid in Environmental Aqueous Samples

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This study describes a fast and accurate method for the sample preparation, identification, and quantitation of nitrilotriacetic (NTA) acid in environmental aqueous samples at a concentration of ppb level. The method is sensitive, specific, and free from the interferences of fatty and amino acids. The tri-n-propyl- and tri-n-butyl-NTA acid esters were prepared by the reaction of n-propyl-HCl and n-butyl-HCl solutions and NTA acid, respectively. The derivatives were analyzed by a gas chromatograph equipped with a mass spectrometric detector. The method detection limit, 0.006 mg/L of each NTA ester, was determined and validated by an analysis of a fortified water sample. The overall recoveries were 103–115%, n = 8. The method was applied to a real sample and a 0.90 mg/L concentration of NTA acid was found. Mass fragmentation patterns of the derivatives are also reported.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: ENTECH-Agri-Service Laboratory, Inc., Research and Development Section, 6820 Kitimat Rd, Unit #4, Mississauga, Ontario L5N 5M3, Canada.

Publication date: 2002-01-01

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL publishes refereed papers and reviews in the fields of chemical, biological and toxicological analytical chemistry for the purpose of showcasing the most precise, accurate and sensitive methods for analysis of foods, food additives, supplements and contaminants, cosmetics, drugs, toxins, hazardous substances, pesticides, feeds, fertilizers and the environment available at that point in time. The scope of the Journal includes unpublished original research describing new analytical methods, techniques and applications; improved approaches to sampling, both in the field and the laboratory; better methods of preparing samples for analysis; collaborative studies substantiating the performance of a given method; statistical techniques for evaluating data. The Journal will also publish other articles of general interest to its audience, e.g., technical communications; cautionary notes; comments on techniques, apparatus, and reagents.
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