Simultaneous speciation of arsenic (As(III), MMA, DMA, and As(V)) and selenium (Se(IV), Se(VI), and SeCN−) in petroleum refinery aqueous streams

Tonietto, Gisele B.; Godoy, José M.; Oliveira, Ana Cristina; de Souza, Marcia V.
July 2010
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;Jul2010, Vol. 397 Issue 5, p1755
Academic Journal
High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) coupled to an ICP-MS with an octapole reaction system (ORS) has been used to carry out quantitative speciation of selenium (Se) and arsenic (As) in the stream waters of a refining process. The argon dimers interfering with the 78Se and 80Se isotopes were suppressed by pressurizing the octapole chamber with 3.1 mL min−1 H2 and 0.5 mL min−1 He. Four arsenic species arsenite—As(III), arsenate (As(V)), monomethylarsonic acid (MMA), and dimethylarsinic acid (DMA)—and three inorganic Se species—selenite Se(IV), selenate Se(VI), and selenocyanate (SeCN−)—were separated in a single run by ion chromatography (IC) using gradient elution with 100 mmol L−1 NH4NO3, pH 8.5, adjusted by addition of NH3, as eluent. Repeatabilities of peak position and of peak area evaluation were better than 1% and about 3%, respectively. Detection limits (as 3 σ of the baseline noise) were 81, 56, and 75 ng L−1 for Se(IV), Se(VI), and SeCN−, respectively, and 22, 19, 25, and 16 ng L−1 for As(III), As(V), MMA, and DMA, respectively. Calibration curve R2 values ranged between 0.996 and 0.999 for the arsenic and selenium species. Column recovery for ion chromatography was calculated to be 97 ± 6% for combined arsenic species and 98 ± 3% for combined selenium species. Because certified reference materials for As and Se speciation studies are still not commercially available, in order to check accuracy and precision the method was applied to certified reference materials, BCR 714, BCR 1714, and BCR 715 and to two different refinery samples—inlet and outlet wastewater. The method was successfully used to study the quantitative speciation of selenium and arsenic in petroleum refinery wastewaters.


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