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Determination of silver in plants by flameless atomic absorption spectrometry and neutron activation analysis

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/08/1985
<mark>Journal</mark>International Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry
Issue number1-2
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)23-32
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Three analytical techniques suitable for determining silver concentrations in plants are presented and compared. Graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry performed directly on sample digests was the most sensitive and convenient. Neutron activation analysis, measuring 110mAg gave good reproducibility, but lower sensitivity. A cyclic activation scheme to generate and detect the short-lived isotope 110Ag was useful as a quick reconnaissance technique, but interference from 76As reduced its effectiveness. Data are presented on the silver content of terrestrial plants. Background silver concentrations for lichens and bryophytes collected from Wales, U.K. were 0.07μg g-1. Samples collected from areas contaminated by derelict metal mines contained between 0.1-1.0 μgAg g-1. The aerial portions of vascular species usually contained less silver than bryophytes growing on the same substrate. Fungi are shown to bioconcentrate silver to a greater extent than cadmium, copper or lead.