This paper presents an improvement for the simultaneous separation of Sb(V), Sb(III) and (CH3)3SbCl2 species by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and its detection by hydride generation-atomic fluorescence spectrometry (HG-AFS). The separation was performed on an anion exchange column PRP-X100 using a gradient elution program between EDTA/KHP (potasium hydrogen phtalate) as first mobile phase and phosphate solutions solution as the second one. The chromatographic separation and the HG-AFS parameters were optimized by experimental design. The best results were obtained by using an elution program with 20 mmol l-1 EDTA + 2 mmol l-1 KHP solution at pH 4.5, during 1.15 min, then change to 50 mmol l-1 (NH4)2HPO4 solution at pH 8.3, switching back after 4.0 min to the first mobile phase, until 5 min, with a constant flow rate of 1.5 ml min-1. Retention time of Sb(V), Sb(III) and trimethylantimony species were 1.22, 2.31 and 3.45 min and the detection limits were 0.13; 0.07 and 0.13 μg l-1, respectively. Studies on the stability of this antimony species in sea water samples on the function of the elapsed time of storage in refrigerator at 4°C was performed employing the optimized method. Results revealed that Sb(III) is easily oxidized within some hours to Sb(V) in sea water stored at 4°C. However, when the sea water was immediately mixed with EDTA no oxidation of Sb(III) was observed up to 1 week of storage. The proposed methodology was then applied to the antimony speciation in sea water samples.
- Hydride generation-atomic fluorescence spectrometry
- Sea water