Online Preconcentration-IC-ICP-MS for Selenium Quantification and Speciation at Ultratraces

M. Lenz, G.H. Floor, L.H.E. Winkel, G. Román-Ross, P.F.X. Corvini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Selenium (Se) is of key importance to human health with a very narrow concentration range of optimal dietary intake. Due to the inherent analytical challenge linked with the low natural abundance, information on precise and accurate Se speciation in deficient environments is hardly existent. This study presents a novel approach to determine Se species-specifically at ultratraces, by online coupling of a preconcentration (trap) column to an ion chromatography inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (IC-ICP-MS) system. It is demonstrated that with this robust and work/time efficient method, the predominant selenium oxyanions, selenite (SeIV) and selenate (SeVI), can be quantified down to 7.3 and 8.3 picogram total Se, respectively, in an overall analytical time of 420 s, only. The applicability for environmental samples was proven on pristine volcanic ashes collected from seven different volcanoes. The high sensitivity of the novel approach allowed to determine speciation in samples that were strongly depleted in total selenium (
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11988-11994
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • plasma-mass spectrometry
  • water samples
  • environmental-samples
  • chromatography
  • food
  • soil
  • interferences
  • extraction
  • behavior
  • coal


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