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Talanta. 2005 Jan 30;65(2):461-5. doi: 10.1016/j.talanta.2004.06.022.

A green analytical procedure for flow-injection determination of nitrate in natural waters.

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Departamento de Química Fundamental, Instituto de Química, Universidade de São Paulo, P.O. Box 26077, 05513-970 São Paulo, SP, Brazil.


Nitrate determination in waters is generally carried out with cadmium filings and carcinogenic reagents or by reaction with phenolic compounds in highly concentrated sulfuric acid medium. In this work, it was developed a green analytical procedure for nitrate determination in natural waters based on direct spectrophotometric measurements in ultraviolet, using a flow-injection system with an anion-exchange column for separation of nitrate from interfering species. The proposed method employs only one reagent (HClO(4)) in a minimum amount (equivalent to 18muL concentrated acid per determination), and allowed nitrate determination within 0.50-25.0mgL(-1), without interference of up to 200.0mgL(-1) humic acid; 1.0mgL(-1) NO(2)(-); 200.0mgL(-1) PO(4)(3-); 75.0mgL(-1) Cl(-); 50.0mgL(-1) SO(4)(2-) and 15.0mgL(-1) Fe(3+). The detection limit (99.7% confidence level) and the coefficient of variation (n = 20) were estimated as 0.1mgL(-1) and 0.7%, respectively. The results obtained for natural water samples were in agreement with those achieved by the reference method based on nitrate reduction with copperized cadmium at the 95% confidence level.

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