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J Chromatogr A. 2013 Aug 23;1304:227-33. doi: 10.1016/j.chroma.2013.07.034. Epub 2013 Jul 11.

Speciation analysis of arsenic compounds by capillary electrophoresis on-line coupled with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry using a novel interface.

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State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 2871, 100085 Beijing, China.


In this work, a capillary electrophoresis (CE) coupled with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS) system was developed for the simultaneous determination of ten arsenic compounds including arsenite, arsenate, monomethylarsonic acid, dimethylarsinic acid, arsenobetaine, arsenocholine, 3-nitro-4-hydroxyphenylarsonic acid, o-Arsanilic acid, p-ureidophenylarsonic acid, and 4-nitrophenylarsonic acid. The CE-ICP-MS system was hyphenated by a novel and high efficient interface which was directly used as the nebulizer. The separation was achieved on a 100cm length×50μm ID fused-silica capillary. Analytical conditions such as electrophoretic buffer composition, concentration and pH value, separation voltage, methanol concentration in the sheath flow liquid and sample injection time were optimized. Baseline separation of the ten arsenic species was achieved using an electrophoretic buffer consisting of 12mM NaH2PO4 and 8mM HBO3 at pH 9.20 with an applied voltage of +30kV. The detection limits of the ten arsenic compounds ranged from 0.9 to 3.0ngAsg(-1), corresponding to absolute detection limits in the range of 19-65fg As and the relative standard deviations (RSD, n=5) were below 1.5%, 5.7% and 4.8% for migration time, peak height and peak area, respectively. This method was successfully applied to determine various arsenicals in two certified reference materials (TORT-2 and DORM-3) and environmental samples such as ground water samples, herbal plants and chicken meat.


Arsenic speciation; Capillary electrophoresis; Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry; Simple and high efficient interface

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