DGT Measurement of Dissolved Aluminum Species in Waters: Comparing Chelex-100 and Titanium Dioxide-Based Adsorbents
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Aluminum is acutely toxic, and elevated concentrations of dissolved Al can have detrimental effects on both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Robust analytical methods that can determine environmentally relevant Al fractions accurately and efficiently are required by the environmental monitoring community. A simple, robust passive sampling method, the diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT) technique, was evaluated for the measurement of dissolved Al species in freshwater and marine water using either Chelex-100 or Metsorb (a titanium dioxide-based binding agent) as the adsorbent. Mass vs time DGT deployments at pH 5.05 (Al3+ and Al(OH)2+ dominate) and 8.35 (Al(OH)4 - dominates) demonstrated linear uptake of Al (R2 = 0.989 and 0.988, respectively) for Metsorb. Similar deployments of Chelex-DGT showed linear uptake at pH 5.05 (R2 = 0.994); however, at pH 8.35 the mass of Al accumulated was 40-70% lower than predicted, suggesting that Chelex-100 is not suitable for Al measurements at high pH. The Metsorb-DGT measurement was independent of pH (5.0-8.5) and ionic strength (0.001-0.7 mol L-1 NaNO3), whereas the Chelex-DGT measurement was only independent of ionic strength at pH 5.0. At pH 8.4, increasing ionic strength led to considerable underestimation (up to 67%) of Al concentration. Deployments of Metsorb-DGT (up to 4 days) in synthetic freshwater (pH range 5.4-8.1) and synthetic seawater (pH 8.15) resulted in linear mass uptakes, and the concentration measured by DGT agreed well with solution concentrations. Conversely, deployment of Chelex-DGT in synthetic seawater and freshwater (pH =7.7 Al(OH)4 - dominant species) resulted in a decrease in accumulated mass with increasing deployment time. In situ field evaluations in fresh, estuarine, and marine waters confirmed that Metsorb-DGT was more accurate than Chelex-DGT for the measurement of dissolved Al in typical environmental waters.
Environmental Science & Technology
This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in Environmental Science & Technology, copyright 2012 American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es203674n.
Sensor Technology (Chemical aspects)