Microwave digestion of sediment, soils and urban particulate matter for trace metal analysis

Sandroni, V., Smith, C. M.M. and Donovan, A. (2004) Microwave digestion of sediment, soils and urban particulate matter for trace metal analysis. Talanta, 60(4), pp. 715-723. (doi: 10.1016/S0039-9140(03)00131-0)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.


A microwave digestion technique was developed to determine the content of nine heavy metals in sediments and soils. The digests were subsequently analysed by inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES). The metals determined were Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Zn, Cr, Cd, Cu, Pb and V. The digestion was achieved by using an acid mixture of HNO3, HF and distilled H2O. The experimental study was conducted using four standard reference materials (SRMs): sewage sludge (LGC6136), marine sediment (PACS-1), urban particulate matter (NIST 1648) and coal carbonisation site soil (LGC6138). Two different programs were examined to determine which was optimal for the digestion of real environmental samples. The accuracy and precision of the two digestion programs for the analysis of the SRMs were compared. From the results obtained, the microwave program providing a maximum of power of 650 W and a cycle time of 51 min resulted in the best analytical performance. The experimental results obtained were in good agreement with the certified values and demonstrated that the proposed method is precise and accurate.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Smith, Dr Clare
Authors: Sandroni, V., Smith, C. M.M., and Donovan, A.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Journal Name:Talanta
ISSN (Online):1873-3573
Published Online:08 April 2003

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record