Analytical possibilities of different X-ray fluorescence systems for determination of trace elements in aqueous samples pre-concentrated with carbon nanotubes

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This study was aimed to achieve improved instrumental sensitivity and detection limits for multielement determination of V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Ga, Se, Pb and Cd in liquid samples by using different X-ray fluorescence (XRF) configurations (a benchtop energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometer, a benchtop polarised energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometer and a wavelength-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometer). The preconcentration of metals from liquid solutions consisted on a solid-phase extraction using carbon nanotubes (CNTs) as solid sorbents. After the extraction step, the aqueous sample was filtered and CNTs with the absorbed elements were collected onto a filter paper which was directly analyzed by XRF. The calculated detection limits in all caseswere in the low ng mL-1 range. Nevertheless, results obtained indicate the benefits, in terms of sensitivity, of using polarized X-ray sources using different secondary targets in comparison to conventional XRF systems, above all if Cd determination is required. The developed methodologies, using the aforementioned equipments, have been applied for multielement determination in water samples from an industrial area of Poland ​
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