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Environ Sci Technol. 2003 Mar 15;37(6):1183-8.

Dissolved elemental mercury investigations in Long Island Sound using on-line Au amalgamation-flow injection analysis.

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  • 1National Center for Ocean Research, National Taiwan University, P.O. Box 23-13, Taipei, Taiwan, 106, Republic of China.


A novel semiautomatic dissolved elemental mercury analyzer (DEMA) was developed for investigating dissolved elemental Hg (DEM) in natural waters. This on-line setup couples the main analytical steps from sample introduction, gas-liquid separation, and Au amalgamation/separation to final detection/data acquisition using flow injection techniques. This approach provides ease of operation and high analytical performance and is suitable for shipboard use. The analyzer can be fully automated and also be modified to examine other Hg species (e.g., reactive and total Hg and monomethyl-Hg). Here, we present the results of laboratory performance tests and make a comparison with a traditional manual method. DEM measured by both manual and the DEMA show good agreement. Representative field DEM data from spring and summer 1999 in Long Island Sound, U.S.A. (LIS) are presented. Spatial and temporal DEM variations were evident. Rapid and accurate determinations of DEM are necessary to observe its distribution dynamics, evaluate emissions, and assess its role in the aquatic biogeochemical cycling of Hg.

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