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Journal of Automatic Chemistry
Volume 10, Issue 3, Pages 140-143

Automated continuous monitoring of inorganic and total mercury in wastewater and other waters by flow-injection analysis and cold-vapour atomic absorption spectrometry

Associated Octel Company Ltd, Research & Development Department, South Wirral, Ellesmere Port L65 4HF, UK

Copyright © 1988 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


An automated continuous monitoring system for the determination of inorganic and total mercury by flow-injection analysis followed by cold-vapour atomic absorption spectrometry is described. The method uses a typical flow-injection manifold where digestion and reduction of the injected sample takes place. Mercury is removed by aeration from the flowing stream in a specially designed air-liquid separator and swept into a silica cell for absorption measurement at a wavelength of 253.7 nm. A calibration curve up to 10 µg Hg ml-1 using three different path length cells is obtained with a detection limit of 0.02 µg Hg ml-1. The sampling rate of an injection every 3 min produces 20 results per hour from a flowing stream.