Electrophoresis, Vol.37, No.7-8, 1055-1062, 2016
Ultra-sensitive speciation analysis of mercury by CE-ICP-MS together with field-amplified sample stacking injection and dispersive solid-phase extraction
A simple dispersive solid-phase extraction (DSPE) used to extract and preconcentrate ultra-trace MeHg, EtHg and Hg2+ from water sample, and a sensitive method for the simultaneous analysis of MeHg, EtHg and Hg2+ by using capillary electrophoresis-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (CE-ICP-MS) with field-amplified sample stacking injection (FASI) were first reported in this study. The DSPE used thiol cotton particles as adsorbent, and is simple and effective. It can be used to extract and preconcentrate ultra-trace mercury compounds in water samples within 30 min with a satisfied recovery and no mercury species alteration during the process. The FASI enhanced the sensitivity of CE-ICP-MS with 25-fold, 29-fold and 27-fold for MeHg, EtHg and Hg2+, respectively. Using FASI-CE-ICP-MS together with DSPE, we have successfully determined ultra-trace MeHg, EtHg and Hg2+ in tap water with a limits of quantification (LOQs) of 0.26-0.45 pg/ mL, an RSD (n = 3) < 6% and a recovery of 92-108%. Ultra-high sensitivity, as well as much less sample and reagent consumption and low operating cost, make our method a valuable technique to the speciation analysis of ultra-trace mercury.