Direct Insertion of Trace Metals Preconcentrated on Activated Charcoal into an Inductively Coupled Plasma

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Trace metals have been concentrated onto activated charcoal by using oxalic acid, iminodiacetic acid, and 8-hydroxyquinoline. The charcoal was directly analyzed in an ICP by placing several particles in a direct sample insertion (DSI) cup, or fabricating a DSI probe with an activated charcoal cap. Detection limits in the tens to hundreds of parts per trillion were found for Pb, Cd, Zn, and Cu. The recovery for C u was 2-5% but may be improved by reactivation of the plasma-cleaned charcoal. Cleaning the charcoal, derived from wood, in the plasma prior to adsorption was necessary to remove trace metals.
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