• Using Atomic Fluorescence Spectrometry (AFS) for the online determination of mercury (Hg), arsenic (As) & selenium (Se) in industrial wastewater streams

Environmental Laboratory

Using Atomic Fluorescence Spectrometry (AFS) for the online determination of mercury (Hg), arsenic (As) & selenium (Se) in industrial wastewater streams

Jan 29 2021

Hg, As, and Se are considered environmental priority pollutants. They do not degrade and can be derived from both natural and anthropogenic sources.

Traditional analysis of wastewater streams for these elements requires a grab sample to be taken and returned to the laboratory. This manual approach is reliant on staff availability and is subject to sample handling errors. Often pollution events may be missed as the data sets are incomplete and limited to the grab sample frequency.

An online automated approach eliminates sample handling errors, and the requirement for staff availability. This approach provides fast and continuous data sets allowing plants to operate efficiently and to respond quickly to changes in water quality without manual intervention.

Coupling Atomic Fluorescence Spectrometry (AFS) with either cold vapour generation or hydride generation has been PSA’s core competency for over 35 years and PSA now offer our third generation of online analysers for environmental monitoring based on novel sample and reagent handling capabilities. Multiple sample streams may be monitored (including grab samples) and these samples are automatically digested and prepared on-board prior to automated end-step analysis.  The resultant analysers are sensitive, selective, have a wide working range, easy to use and consume very low reagent volumes.

Industries that particularly benefit from these new developments include; thermal power generators, oil and gas refineries and process plants, smelting operations, cement manufacturers and semiconductor fabrication plants.


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