Mercury in mineral water – Straightforward deterermination by voltammetry using a gold microwire electrode

Mercury and its compounds are toxic. The highest risk is posed by chronic poisoning with mercury compounds ingested with food. A significant part of the mercury present in the environment is of anthropogenic origin. Considerable sources are coal-fired power plants, steel, and nonferrous metal production, waste incineration plants, the chemical industry, or artisanal gold mining where the use of elemental mercury for the extraction of gold from the ore is still common. The guideline value for inorganic mercury in the World Health Organization’s «Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality» is set to 6 μg/L.

With a limit of detection (LOD) of 0.5 μg/L, anodic stripping voltammetry is a viable, less sophisticated alternative to atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS).While AAS (and competing methods) can only be performed in a laboratory, anodic stripping voltammetry can be used conventionally in the laboratory or alternatively in the field with the 946 Portable VA Analyzer. The determination is carried out on the scTRACE Gold electrode.