Speciation of four selenium compounds using high performance liquid chromatography with on-line detection by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry or flame atomic absorption spectrometry

Gitte Alsing Pedersen, Erik Huusfeldt Larsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

An analytical method for the speciation of selenomethionine, selenocystine, selenite and selenate by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with atomic spectrometric detection is presented. An organic polymeric strong anion exchange column was used as the stationary phase in combination with an aqueous solution of 6 mmol L-1 of salicylate ion at pH 8.5 as the mobile phase which allowed the isocratic separation of the four selenium analytes within 8 minutes. The separated selenium species were detected on-line by flame atomic absorption spectrometry (FAAS) or inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The signal-to-noise ratio of the FAAS detector was optimized using a hydrogen-argon entrained-air flame and a slotted-tube atom trap (STAT) in the flame. The limit of detection (3 sigma) achieved by the HPLC-FAAS system was 1 mg L-1 of selenium (100 mu L injections) for each of the four selenium species. More powerful selenium detection was achieved using an ELAN 5000 ICP-MS instrument. Selenium was measured at m/z = 82. The ICP-MS signal intensity was enhanced by a factor of 3-4 after addition of 3% methanol to the chromatographic mobile phase and by using an increased plasma power input of 1300 W. The limit of detection achieved under these conditions was 1 mu g L-1 (100 mu L injections). The HPLC-ICP-MS system was used for selenium speciation of selenite and selenate in aqueous solutions during a BCR certification exercise and for selenium speciation in the certified reference material, BCR No. 402 White Clover. Extraction experiments revealed that the selenium species in the biological material were extractable only in the presence of water in the extraction medium. The results indicated that selenate and a compound of unknown identity U were present in the plant sample.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAnalytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
Volume358
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)591-598
ISSN1618-2642
Publication statusPublished - 1997

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