Speciation of Arsenic Compounds by Coupling High-Performance Liquid Chromatography with Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry

Institute of Chemistry, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, Gratz, Styria, Austria
Microchimica Acta (Impact Factor: 3.74). 02/1998; 130(1):71-79. DOI: 10.1007/BF01254593


There is considerable evidence that toxicity and physiological behavior of arsenic depends on its chemical forms. Arsenic speciation became therefore the subject of increasing interest in recent years. A sensitive method for the determination of arsenic species has been developed. The proposed procedure involves the use of high-performance liquid chromatography and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (HPLC-ICP-MS). Six arsenic compounds were separated by anion-exchange chromatography with isocratic elution using tartaric acid as mobile phase with an elution order: arsenocholine, arsenobetaine, dimethylarsinic acid, methylarsonic acid, arsenous acid and arsenic acid. The chromatographic parameters affecting the separation of the arsenic species were optimized. Analytical characterization of the method has been realized with standard solutions. The detection limits for six arsenic compounds were from 0.04 to 0.6 g/L as As element. The repeatability (expressed by R.S.D) was better than 7% for all investigated compounds. The HPLC-ICP-MS system was successfully applied to the determination of arsenic compounds in environmental and biological samples in g/L level.

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