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On-line preconcentration system for the selective, sensitive and simultaneous determination of chromium species was investigated. Dual minicolumns containing chelating resin were utilized for the speciation and preconcentration of Cr(III) and Cr(VI) in water samples. In this system, Cr(III) was collected on first column packed with iminodiacetate resin. Cr(VI) in the effluent from the first column was reduced to Cr(III), which was collected on the second column packed with iminodiacetate resin. Hydroxyammonium chloride was examined as a potential reducing agent for Cr(VI) to Cr(III). The effects of pH, sample flow rate, column length, and interfering ions on the recoveries of Cr(III) were carefully studied. Five millilitres of a sample solution was introduced into the system. The collected species were then sequentially washed by 1 M ammonium acetate, eluted by 2 M nitric acid and measured by ICP-AES. The detection limit for Cr(III) and Cr(VI) was 0.08 and 0.15 mu g l-1, respectively. The total analysis time was about 9.4 min. The developed method was successfully applied to the speciation of chromium in river, tap water and wastewater samples with satisfied results.
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