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Determination of chromium speciation in natural systems using DGT.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date08/2002
JournalAnalytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
Number of pages7
Original languageEnglish


The techniques of diffusive gradients (DGT) and equilibration (DET) in thin-films have been combined in a single probe that can determine Cr(III) and Cr(VI) simultaneously in solution. The assembly has a layer of polyacrylamide hydrogel overlying a separate layer of resin embedded in gel. Cr(III) species accumulate exclusively and quantitatively in the resin layer, while Cr(VI) species equilibrate with both hydrogel and resin layers. The species are separated by peeling the two layers apart. Chromium is then eluted from each of the two layers. Cr(III) and Cr(VI) were determined quantitatively in standard, mixed solutions by in situ separation with DGT and detection by GF-AAS. With this method, Cr(III) is typically preconcentrated by a factor of 10 over a 24 h deployment, and limits of detection of 8 ng/L Cr(III) and 0.3 µg/L Cr(VI) were achieved. Due to the inbuilt preconcentration of Cr(III), the technique is particularly good at measuring low concentrations of Cr(III) in the presence of an excess of Cr(VI). Measurements were performed in three soils with various levels of chromium contamination. A concentration of 3 µg/L of labile Cr(III) was measured reproducibly in the presence of 290 µg/L of unreactive Cr species and 0.2 µg/L of labile Cr(III) was measured in the presence of 24 µg/L of unreactive Cr. The unique feature of the method is that the separation of Cr(III) from Cr(VI) occurs in situ. The Cr species are then stable in the resin and gel prior to analysis, eliminating the artefacts associated with sampling and storage, which are particularly prevalent for redox-sensitive elements. Therefore, it has great potential for assessing Cr(III) and Cr(VI) concentrations in situ in environments near redox boundaries where possible dynamic changes in Cr(III) and Cr(VI) concentrations are occurring.