Simultaneous speciation analysis of chromate, molybdate, tungstate and vanadate in welding fume alkaline extracts by HPLC-ICP-MS.

Research paper by Janez J Ščančar, Balázs B Berlinger, Yngvar Y Thomassen, Radmila R Milačič

Indexed on: 25 May '15Published on: 25 May '15Published in: Talanta


A novel analytical procedure was developed for the simultaneous speciation analysis of chromate, molybdate, tungstate and vanadate by anion-exchange high performance liquid chromatography hyphenated to inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (HPLC-ICP-MS). Linear gradient elution from 100% water to 100% 0.7 M NaCl was applied for chromatographic separation of metal species. In standard aqueous solution at neutral pH molybdate, tungstate and vanadate exist in several aqueous species, while chromate is present as a single CrO4(2-) species. Consequently, only chromate can be separated from this solution in a sharp chromatographic peak. For obtaining sharp chromatographic peaks for molybdate, tungstate and vanadate, the pH of aqueous standard solutions was raised to 12. At highly alkaline conditions single CrO4(2-), MoO4(2-) and WO4(2-) are present and were eluted in sharp chromatographic peaks, while VO4(3-) species, which predominates at pH 12 was eluted in slightly broaden peak. In a mixture of aqueous standard solutions (pH 12) chromate, molybdate, tungstate and vanadate were eluted at retention times from 380 to 420 s, 320 to 370 s, 300 to 350 s and 240 to 360 s, respectively. Eluted species were simultaneously detected on-line by ICP-MS recording m/z 52, 95, 182 and 51. The developed procedure was successfully applied to the analysis of leachable concentrations of chromate, molybdate, tungstate and vanadate in alkaline extracts (2% NaOH+3% Na2CO3) of manual metal arc (MMA) welding fumes loaded on filters. Good repeatability and reproducibility of measurement (RSD±3.0%) for the investigated species were obtained in both aqueous standard solutions (pH 12) and in alkaline extracts of welding fumes. Low limits of detection (LODs) were found for chromate (0.02 ng Cr mL(-1)), molybdate (0.1 ng Mo mL(-1)), tungstate (0.1 ng W mL(-1)) and vanadate (0.2 ng V mL(-1)). The accuracy of analytical procedure for the determination of chromate was checked by analysis of CRM 545, Cr(VI) in welding dust loaded on a filter. Good agreement between determined and reported certified values was obtained. For molybdate, tungstate and vanadate the assessment of accuracy was performed by spiking welding fume filters. Good recoveries for all investigated species (98-101%) confirmed the accuracy of the analytical procedure.