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Journal of Analytical Methods in Chemistry
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 512709, 10 pages
Research Article

Effects of Iron Concentration Level in Extracting Solutions from Contaminated Soils on the Determination of Zinc by Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrometry with Two Background Correctors

1Université Lille Nord de France, 59044 Lille, France
2Groupe ISA, Equipe Sols et Environnement, Laboratoire Génie Civil et géo-Environnement (LGCgE) Lille, Nord de France (EA 4515), 48 boulevard Vauban, 59046 Lille Cedex, France

Received 8 November 2011; Accepted 10 December 2011

Academic Editor: K. K. Verma

Copyright © 2012 Christophe Waterlot et al. 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.


Zinc and iron concentrations were determined after digestion, water, and three-step sequential extractions of contaminated soils. Analyses were carried out using flame absorption spectrometry with two background correctors: a deuterium lamp used as the continuum light source (D2 method) and the high-speed self-reversal method (HSSR method). Regarding the preliminary results obtained with synthetic solutions, the D2 method often emerged as an unsuitable configuration for compensating iron spectral interferences. In contrast, the HSSR method appeared as a convenient and powerful configuration and was tested for the determination of zinc in contaminated soils containing high amounts of iron. Simple, fast, and interference-free method, the HSSR method allows zinc determination at the ppb level in the presence of large amounts of iron with high stability, sensitivity, and reproducibility of results. Therefore, the HSSR method is described here as a promising approach for monitoring zinc concentrations in various iron-containing samples without any pretreatment.