Mercury Analyzer, Purge and Trap
Since the late 1950's, the analysis of Mercury in water has been a crucial part of government chemistry and environmental analysts. Mercury has been and is still used for a variety of purposes to date and as such calls for rigorous methods of analysis of this element in water. In spite of its benefits, Mercury is also known to be a silent killer if ingested or during a long exposure of an organism to compounds containing Mercury (Mitra & Kebbekus p. 30-42). In this paper we will discuss in brief the various methods used to analyse Mercury as well as new potential methods in the same. Most of the analysis methods used today were developed in the late 1960's and early 1970's and are immensely dependent on laboratory equipment. However, in the wake of the technological evolution, several other high-tech methods have been developed as we will see with the Anthony's Mercury Analyzer.
Most of these advanced methods not only provide for the basic laboratory setting but also for field purposes.
Purge and Trap - since the discovery of elemental Mercury in water, there is no doubt that this method is one of the best for analyzing Mercury in the field. Basically, this method entails purging water samples with nitrogen and consequently extracting Mercury from the samples prior to analyzing the levels using Mercury analyzers. This method was widely used in the early 1990's to screen water samples from wells and construction sites across the United States (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency p. 2).
[...] However, due to the high costs associated with this method, chemists and environmental analysts rarely use it as sometimes there might be a need to conduct multiple analyses on the same sample or repeating the procedure more than twice to refine the final results. Most of the above methods require specialized equipment and the analysis is usually conducted in laboratories hence making the above methods inflexible. With the advancement in technology however, more reliable and advanced techniques are continually being developed. Anthony's Mercury Analyzer is a unique technique that builds on the above techniques and is portable as well. [...]
[...] The benefits associated with this method are by far the best compared to the rest of the analysis techniques in terms of costs, expenses and manpower. Apart from being cost effective, this technique also guarantees precise measurements with minimal deviations hence proving to be the best technique to use in the field as well as a laboratory. Works Cited Hirata, Patrick. “Determination of Mercury In Water By Cold Vapor Atomic Absorption Spectrometry”. Lockheed Martin Environmental Services (LMES), Richmond, California Print. Mitra Somenath, & Kebbekus Barbara. [...]
[...] B “Environmental Chemical Analysis”. New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ Print. Murphy, Eileen A. & Dooley, John. “Analysis of Mercury Species in New Jersey Ground water Using Inductively Coupled Plasma - Mass Spectrometry and Gas Chromatography”. NJ Department of Environmental Protection and Energy Division of Science and Research, Trenton, NJ Print. Suzuki, Tsuguyoshi. “Mercury Analysis Manual”. The Committee for the Mercury Analysis, Ministry of Environment, Tokyo, Japan Print. U.S. [...]
[...] This Mercury analyzer works by passing water through a sensor node made of a thin film that reacts with Mercury. The thin film consists of a special dye made of 2-(5-amino-3,4-dicyano- 2H-pyrrol-2ylidene0-1,1,2- tricyanoethanide) which reacts with the Mercury element in the water sample and displays the resultant figures on a computer screen. As the water filters through the sensor node, the netting attached to it detects the minute chemical changes generating electrical signals as Mercury in the water reacts with the dye. [...]
[...] The free Mercury, which is now volatile, is then forced from the reaction container by effervescing gases in the solution. Mercury atoms are then transmitted in the stream of gas to a connected absorption cell, which is positioned on the path of light from the atomic absorption spectrometer and the readings relayed to the analyzers. The sample is then digested in potassium permanganate- potassium persulfate and oxidized for two hours at 95 degrees. The resultant Mercury levels are then measured using automated Mercury analyzers (Hirata p. 4). [...]
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