Three-stage sequential extraction procedure for the determination of metals in river sediments

R P Thomas, Alan M. Ure, C.M. Davidson, David Littlejohn, G Rauret, R Rubio, J F López-Sánchez

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171 Citations (Scopus)


A three-stage sequential extraction procedure, following a protocol proposed by a European working group coordinated and supported by the Community Bureau of Reference (BCR), has been applied to two river sediments from an industrial region of East Catalonia, Spain. The extractant solutions were: Step One, acetic acid (0.11 mol l(-1)); Step Two, hydroxylammonium chloride (0.1 mol l(-1), pH 2); Step Three, hydrogen peroxide (8.8 mol l(-1)) oxidation followed by extraction with ammonium acetate (1 mol l(-1), pH 2). The six elements determined in the extracts were Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn. Analysis of the extracts was carried out by flame atomic absorption spectrometry (FAAS). There were slight differences in analyte sensitivity between calibrants prepared in the extractant matrices and acidified aqueous calibrants. No significant matrix interferences were found except for Cr in the acetic acid and hydroxylammonium chloride extracts, which required determination by the standard additions method. The other elements (plus all the elements in the ammonium acetate extracts) were determined by direct calibration against calibrant solutions prepared in the same matrices as the samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-429
Number of pages7
JournalAnalytica Chimica Acta
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 1994


  • atomic absorption spectrometry
  • sequential extraction
  • river sediments


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