The effect of the presence of volatile organoselenium compounds on the determination of inorganic selenium by hydride generation

Moreno, M. Eva; Pérez-Conde, Concepción; Cámara, Carmen
March 2003
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;Mar2003, Vol. 375 Issue 5, p666
Academic Journal
As a result of microbiological activity it is possible to find dimethylselenium (DMSe) and dimethyldiselenium (DMDSe) in a wide type of environmental samples, such as soils, sediments, sewage sludges and plants where methylation can take place. Selenium determination by hydride-generation (HG) techniques requires its presence as Se(IV). Consequently, inorganic speciation by hydride generation techniques is done by first determining Se(IV) and then, after reduction of Se (VI) to Se(IV), the total selenium. Therefore, the concentration of Se (VI) is evaluated as the difference between total inorganic selenium and Se(IV). In the present work it could be demonstrated that DMSe and DMDSe are forming other volatile species by reaction with sodium borohydride, applying the same reduction condition as for inorganic selenium. These species are subsequently detected by several atomic techniques (atomic absorption AAS, atomic fluorescence AFS and inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry ICP–MS). The error that their presence can cause in determination of inorganic selenium has been evaluated. The magnitude of this error depends on the specific analytical detector used. The coupling of pervaporation–atomic fluorescence is proposed for the identification of these species and pervaporation–gas chromatography–atomic fluorescence for their individual quantification.


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