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Ultrasound-assisted sequential extraction method for the evaluation of mobility of toxic elements in contaminated soils

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A method for the fast sequential extraction of toxic elements in contaminated soil samples using an ultrasonic water bath, followed by determination with inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES), was developed and compared with other methods introduced in the literature. The five-step sequential extraction (Tessier scheme) was shortened using ultrasound-assisted sequential extraction (UASE). The optimization of the five-step sequential extraction was based on the analysis of SRM 2710 using Tessiers's method as a reference. Several extracting solutions with different sonication times and temperatures were tested in the optimization procedure. Concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, and zinc were determined in SRM 2710, SRM 2711, and contaminated soil samples with high accuracy and precision. The certified acid-leachable concentrations of the SRM 2710 were obtained for all elements investigated by using an optimized UASE method. Tessiers's method yielded total element concentrations that were too high. The determination of zinc in SRM 2711 yielded concentrations that were too low, whereas arsenic determination yielded concentrations that were too high by the UASE method and analysis by ICP-OES. The analysis of the SRMs showed that the UASE method is highly comparable with the other methods used for such purposes. The major advantages of the UASE method are the high treatment rate (40 samples simultaneously with a sonication time of 54 min) and a low sample and reagent usage.
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Keywords: Contaminated soils; Mobility; Toxic elements; Ultrasound extraction

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Chemistry, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, FIN-40014, Finland, P.O. Box 35

Publication date: December 10, 2005

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