Digestion Methods for Total Heavy Metals in Sediments and Soils

Water Air and Soil Pollution (Impact Factor: 1.69). 01/2002; 141(1):189-205. DOI: 10.1023/A:1021302405128

ABSTRACT The objectives of this study were to analyze the total contents of Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn in the freshwater sediments
and the arable and non-arable soils of Taiwan, and to compare the different digestion methods for their determination. Two
hundred and thirty-nine freshwater sediments were collected from the Fei-Tsui Reservoir Watershed (FTRW) in northern Taiwan.
Forty-two surface (0–15 cm) and subsurface (15–30 cm) soil samples were likewise collected from 21 representative arable soils
derived from various parent materials and with varying weathered degrees in different regions of Taiwan. In addition, one
hundred and ninety-four non-arable soils were collected from the different forest regions, industrial parks, resident areas,
and commercial areas. Several digestion methods including the aquaregia and different combinations of concentrated acids (HClO4, HNO3, H2SO4, or HF) were compared. All samples were digested both by the aqua regia method and the Baker and Amacher method for Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn. The Reisenauer method was used for Cr and the Burau
method for Pb further. The results indicate that the best digestion methods to analyze the total contents of heavy metals
in the sediments and soils were recommended as follows: the Baker and Amacher method for Cd, Cr,Cu, Ni, and Zn; the Reisenauer
method for Cr, but for simplicity the Baker and Amacher method is also recommended as the flexible method for the total analysis
of Cr; the aqua regia method for Cu, Ni, and Zn; and the Burau method for Pb.


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