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Journal of Chemistry
Volume 2019, Article ID 1039487, 12 pages
Research Article

Fast Determination of the Main Reduced Sulfur Species in Aquatic Systems by a Direct and Second-Derivative Spectrophotometric Method

1Université de Paris, Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, CNRS and Centre de Recherches sur le Stockage Géologique du CO2(IPGP/TOTAL/SCHLUMBERGER/ADEME), 1 Rue Jussieu, 75238 Paris Cedex 05, France
2Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (BRGM), 3 Avenue Claude-Guillemin, 45060 Orléans, France
3Institut de Minéralogie, de Physique des Matériaux et de Cosmochimie, Sorbonne-Université, IRD, Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle, CNRS, 4 Place Jussieu, 75252 Paris Cedex 05, France

Correspondence should be addressed to Sébastien Dupraz; rf.mgrb@zarpud.s

Received 13 March 2019; Accepted 10 June 2019; Published 2 July 2019

Academic Editor: Patricia E. Allegretti

Copyright © 2019 Sébastien Dupraz 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.


The determination of reduced sulfur species in aquatic systems is not an easy and fast task to accomplish regarding the numerous possible interferences and risks of oxidation that occur with the usual methods of quantification. The method presented here is a direct spectrophotometric method that can be used to quantify sulfides, sulfites, and thiosulfates in a simple and rapid way. The principle is based on the comparison of second-derivative absorbance spectra of the same sample at different pH (9.2, 4.7, and 1.0) and selected absorption wavelengths (250 and 278 nm). This method has been successfully tested and has demonstrated liability to (i) avoid the biases due to absorbance overlaps between the different major chemical species and (ii) keep, as a direct method, the advantages over indirect methods on interferences reduction. The limits of detections (LOD) reached for total sulfide, sulfite, and thiosulfate are 1.37, 7.32, and 1.92 µM, respectively. The method displays low accuracy mean and low relative standard deviation (<4%) as well as a good linearity (R2 >0.999). Accordingly, this method represents a very robust alternative in terms of cost and rapidity for the quantification of reduced sulfur species in different aquatic environments, from freshwaters to saline and polluted systems.