A new method for field speciation of Cr(VI) has been developed to meet present stringent regulatory standards and to overcome the limitations of existing methods. The method consists of passing a water sample through strong acid cation-exchange resin at the field site, where Cr(III) is retained while Cr(VI) passes into the effluent and is preserved for later determination. The method is simple, rapid, portable, and accurate, and makes use of readily available, inexpensive materials. Cr(VI) concentrations are determined later in the laboratory using any elemental analysis instrument sufficiently sensitive to measure the Cr(VI) concentrations of interest. The new method allows measurement of Cr(VI) concentrations as low as 0.05 ??g 1-1, storage of samples for at least several weeks prior to analysis, and use of readily available analytical instrumentation. Cr(VI) can be separated from Cr(III) between pH 2 and 11 at Cr(III)/Cr(VI) concentration ratios as high as 1000. The new method has demonstrated excellent comparability with two commonly used methods, the Hach Company direct colorimetric method and USEPA method 218.6. The new method is superior to the Hach direct colorimetric method owing to its relative sensitivity and simplicity. The new method is superior to USEPA method 218.6 in the presence of Fe(II) concentrations up to 1 mg 1-1 and Fe(III) concentrations up to 10 mg 1-1. Time stability of preserved samples is a significant advantage over the 24-h time constraint specified for USEPA method 218.6.
Additional publication details
A new cation-exchange method for accurate field speciation of hexavalent chromium