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Journal of Automated Methods and Management in Chemistry
Volume 21 (1999), Issue 1, Pages 17-22

High current–density anodic electrodissolution in flow–injection systems for the determination of aluminium, copper and zinc in non–ferroalloys by flame atomic absorption spectrometry

1Departamento de Química, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, PO Box 476, Florianópolis, SC CEP 88040-900, Brazil
2Departamento de Química Analítica, Instituto de Química UNESP, PO Box 355, Araraquara, SP CEP 14800-900, Brazil

Copyright © 1999 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 automatic procedure with a high current-density anodic electrodissolution unit (HDAE) is proposed for the determination of aluminium, copper and zinc in non-ferroalloys by flame atomic absorption spectrometry, based on the direct solid analysis. It consists of solenoid valve-based commutation in a flow-injection system for on-line sample electro-dissolution and calibration with one multi-element standard, an electrolytic cell equipped with two electrodes (a silver needle acts as cathode, and sample as anode), and an intelligent unit. The latter is assembled in a PC-compatible microcomputer for instrument control, and for data acquisition and processing. General management of the process is achieved by use of software written in Pascal. Electrolyte compositions, flow rates, commutation times, applied current and electrolysis time were investigated. A 0.5 mol l-1 HN03 solution was elected as electrolyte and 300 A/cm2 as the continuous current pulse.

The performance of the proposed system was evaluated by analysing aluminium in Al-alloy samples, and copper/zinc in brass and bronze samples, respectively. The system handles about 50 samples per hour. Results are precise (R.S.D. < 2%) and in agreement with those obtained by ICP-AES and spectrophotometry at a 95% confidence level.