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E-Journal of Chemistry
Volume 6 (2009), Issue 4, Pages 1153-1163

Spectrophotometric Determination of the Trace Amount of Thallium in Water and Urine Samples by Novel Oxidative Coupling Reaction

P. Nagaraja, N. Ghllab Saeed Al-Tayar, A. Shivakumar, A. K. Shresta, and A. K. Gowda

Department of Studies in Chemistry, University of Mysore, Manasagangotri, Mysore 570 006, India

Received 16 November 2008; Accepted 16 January 2009

Copyright © 2009 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.


A novel, simple, rapid, sensitive and selective method has been proposed for the trace determination of thallium by spectrophotometric detection. This method is based on the oxidation of MBTH (3-methyl-2-benzothiazolinone hydrazone hydrochloride) by thallium(III) to form diazonium cation, which couples with IPH (Imipramine hydrochloride) in phosphoric acid medium at room temperature giving a blue colored species having a maximum absorption at 635 nm. The reagents and manifold variables influences on the sensitivity were investigated and the optimum reaction conditions have been established. The calibration curve was found to be linear over the range 0.1-5 μg mL-1 with the molar absorptivity and Sandell’s sensitivity of 2.9x104 L mol-1 cm-1, 0.0071 μg cm-2 respectively. The tolerance limit of the method towards various ions usually associated with thallium has been detected. The relative standard deviation for five replicate determination of 2μg mL-1 thallium was 0.47%. The method has been successfully applied for the determination of thallium(ІΙΙ) and thallium(I) in synthetic, standard reference materials, water and urine samples with satisfactory results. The performance of the proposed method was evaluated in terms of student’s t-test and variance ratio F-test, to find out the significance of proposed method over the reported methods.