Applications of Modern Mass Spectrometry

Volume: 1

Recent Developments of Allied Techniques of Qualitative Analysis of Heavy Metal Ions in Aqueous Solutions with Special Reference to Modern Mass Spectrometry

Author(s): Bijoy Sankar Boruah and Rajib Biswas

Pp: 98-127 (30)

DOI: 10.2174/9789811433825120010006

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Heavy metal ions are basic elements of earth crust. These metal ions are non-biodegradable in nature and tend to accumulate in our ecosystem in due course of time. Some of the most toxic heavy metal ions include arsenic, mercury, cadmium, lead, nickel etc. The toxicity level depends on density for any biological system. Due to increasing applications of heavy metal ion compounds in industrial, agricultural and medical fields, water pollution induced by excess levels of heavy metal ion becomes a big crisis for us. As such, detection of heavy metal ions in water is an important issue for us. Mass spectroscopy methods are the most conventionally applied methods for the detection of heavy metal ions in water. Some of the mass spectroscopic methods are atomic absorption spectroscopy, inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy, graphite furnace atomic absorption spectroscopy etc. These methods have well detection capability of heavy metal ions in water with good selectivity and sensitivity. Along with mass spectroscopic methods, the use of optical fiber technology for heavy metal ions detection is remarkable. Optical fiber based sensors system for the detection of heavy metal ions basically works by changing the effective refractive index of its surroundings. For selective binding of heavy metal ions, sensitive layers are coated on optical fiber probe. Laser or light emitting diode is used as a light source in an optical fiber sensor for signal purpose. Accordingly, output response for various heavy metal ions is recorded on an optical spectrometer. From their output response, we can determine the concentration of metal ions present in water. It is noticed that optical fiber sensor can also have good sensitivity and selectivity towards the detection of heavy metal ions as mass spectroscopy methods.

Keywords: Arsenic, Cadmium, Colorimetric, Detection, Electrochemical, Heavy metal ion, Lead, Mass spectrometry, Mercury, Optical fiber sensor, Sources of heavy metal ions.

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