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Recent Advances in the Analysis of Mercury in Water - Review

[ Vol. 12 , Issue. 1 ]


Nikolaos Kallithrakas-Kontos and Spyros Foteinis   Pages 22 - 36 ( 15 )


Mercury is one of the most toxic elements that may be found in natural water bodies and can negatively affect living organisms, human health as well as drinking water quality. In addition, water is the main transportation and transformation pathway of mercury into the environment and living organisms. Therefore, specific strategies have been developed to reduce mercury releases and to remediate mercury contaminated areas. Mercury analysis in water is of great importance, in order to monitor water quality and associated environmental stresses, thus a considerable number of new publications appear every year. Many of these publications deal with the determination of mercury’s chemical form; others with the development of new analytical techniques, while there are also studies that focus on areas of particular environmental interest. Classic analytical chemistry methods for mercury analysis and speciation in water, namely CVAAS and ICP-MS, have achieved sub-ppt detection limits; while even though, atomic and nuclear analytical methods are promising, especially XRF which has achieved sub-ppb detection limits, they are scarcely used. Other promising analytical methods include CVAFS, FIA-AFS, CVAES, Raman probe, Raman scattering and anodic stripping voltammetry. This paper is a review of the state of the art of mercury analysis and speciation in water (including seawater) with emphasis given on the last 5 years. It highlights the novelties of the referenced papers; the applied analytical techniques, mercury speciation, preconcentration procedures, selectivity, achieved detection limits, the type of the analyzed waters; systems for on-site analysis and mercury analysis in real water samples.


Detection limits, environmental analysis, mercury, nanoparticles, speciation, preconcentration, selectivity, water analysis.


Technical University of Crete, Laboratory of Analytical and Environmental Chemistry, University Campus, GR-73100 Chania, Greece.

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