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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2012, Article ID 231986, 12 pages
Research Article

The Use of Silver Solid Amalgam Electrodes for Voltammetric and Amperometric Determination of Nitrated Polyaromatic Compounds Used as Markers of Incomplete Combustion

UNESCO Laboratory of Environmental Electrochemistry, Department of Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague, Albertov 6, 128 43 Prague 2, Czech Republic

Received 31 October 2011; Accepted 5 December 2011

Academic Editors: G. O. Thomas and T. Tuzimski

Copyright © 2012 Oksana Yosypchuk 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.


Genotoxic nitrated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (NPAHs) are formed during incomplete combustion processes by reaction of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) with atmospheric nitrogen oxides. 1-Nitropyrene, 2-nitrofluorene, and 3-nitrofluoranthene as the dominating substances are used as markers of NPAHs formation by these processes. In the presented study, voltammetric properties and quantification of these compounds and of 5-nitroquinoline (as a representative of environmentally important genotoxic heterocyclic compounds) have been investigated using a mercury meniscus modified silver solid amalgam electrode (m-AgSAE), which represent a nontoxic alternative to traditional mercury electrodes. Linear calibration curves over three orders of magnitude and limits of determination mostly in the 10−7 mol L−1 concentration range were obtained using direct current and differential pulse voltammetry. Further, satisfactory HPLC separation of studied analytes in fifteen minutes was achieved using 0.01 mol L−1 phosphate buffer, pH 7.0 : methanol (15 : 85, v/v) mobile phase, and C18 reversed stationary phase. Limits of detection of around 1 · 10−5 mol L−1 were achieved using amperometric detection at m-AgSAE in wall-jet arrangement for all studied analytes. Practical applicability of this technique was demonstrated on the determination of 1-nitropyrene, 2-nitrofluorene, 3-nitrofluoranthene, and 5-nitroquinoline in drinking water after their preliminary separation and preconcentration using solid phase extraction with the limits of detection around 1 · 10−6 mol L−1.