Tartaric acid extraction of organotin compounds from sediment samples

Marcos Flores, Manuel Bravo, Hugo Pinochet, Paulette Maxwell, Zoltán Mester

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16 Scopus citations


A new extraction method for the determination of tributyltin (TBT), dibutyltin (DBT) and monobutyltin (MBT) in sediments based on extraction with tartaric acid and methanol has been developed. Tin species were extracted from sediment samples using focused microwave technology, then ethylated with sodium tetraethylborate (NaBEt4) and analyzed by isotope dilution (ID) gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The advantages of such methodology in comparison with other established extraction methods for the routine speciation analysis of organotin compounds are discussed with respect to sulfur interferences co-extracted from complex matrices.Interferences from elemental sulfur are normally found with acetic acid extraction, but with tartaric acid extraction these interferences were eliminated, demonstrating selective extraction.The accuracy of the analytical procedure was established by analyzing a certified reference material (CRM) (PACS-2, marine sediment) and comparing the results to the certified values. Good agreement between determined and certified values for butyltin compounds was obtained. Finally, some complex sediment samples collected from San Vicente's Bay, Chile, were analyzed with the proposed methodology, demonstrating its potential value for monitoring butyltins in environmental samples with high concentrations of sulfur compounds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-134
Number of pages6
JournalMicrochemical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2011


  • Butyltin compounds
  • Focused microwave extraction
  • Selective extraction
  • Solid environmental samples
  • Sulfur interferences


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