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Separation of trace antimony and arsenic prior to hydride generation atomic absorption spectrometric determination
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A separation method utilizing a synthetic zeolite (mordenite) was developed in order to eliminate the gas phase interference of Sb(III) on As(III) during quartz furnace hydride generation atomic absorption spectrometric (HGAAS) determination. The efficiency of the proposed separation method in the reduction of suppression effects of transition metal ions on As(III) signal was also investigated. Among the volatile hydride-forming elements and their different oxidation states tested (Sb(III), Sb(V), Se(IV), Se(VI), Te(IV), and Te(VI)), only Sb(III) was found to have a signal depression effect even at low (μg l−1) concentrations under the experimental conditions employed. It has been shown that mordenite adsorbs Sb(III) quantitatively, even at a concentration of 1000 μg l−1, at pHs greater than two, and also, it reduces the initial concentrations of the transition metal ions to lower levels which can be tolerated in many studies. The adsorption of Sb(III) on mordenite follows the Freundlich isotherm and is endothermic in nature.