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Comparison of open digestion methods and selection of internal standards for the determination of Rh, Pd and Pt in plant samples by ICP-MS

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An analytical procedure for the reliable determination of Pd, Pt and Rh in plant samples by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) was developed. An ultrasonic nebulizer (USN) was used for sample introduction to improve sensitivity. Under various synthetic plant sample matrix compositions, it was established experimentally that moderate amounts (0.2-2%) of dissolved solids decreased the analyte signals significantly. Internal standardisation with In (for Pd and Rh) and Ir (for Pt) proved to be essential for obtaining correct results. Five open digestion approaches, used for converting solid plant samples to aqueous solution, were also tested for the purpose, namely dry-ashing, dry-ashing followed by HF attack, wet digestion with H2O2-HNO3, wet digestion followed by HF attack and aqua regia digestion. Recovery tests in two spiked plant materials showed that only wet digestions must be used. With these ways, all PGEs could be reliably quantified by USN-ICP-MS without applying a separation or preconcentration step with a good precision (below 10% RSD). The aqua regia procedure was applied to the determination of PGEs in various plant matrices collected along a highway. Results showed that mosses were probably the best choice of samples to monitor the bioaccumulation of PGEs in time.
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Keywords: inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry ICP-MS; palladium; plant sample; platinum; rhodium

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: ENSPCB, Pesac, France 2: INRA, Villenave d'Ornon, France

Publication date: July 1, 2008

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