Cathodic stripping potentiometric determination of selenium in biological and environmental materials

S. B. Adeloju, T. M. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


The use of cathodic stripping potentiometry for the reliable determination of trace and ultra trace concentrations of selenium in environmental and biological samples on a glassy carbon mercury film electrode is described. The optimum conditions for the method include 3 M HCl as supporting electrolyte, an electrolysis potential of -100 mV vs. SCE, a constant reduction current of -20 μA and the decomposition of the samples by dry ashing with magnesium nitrate as an ashing aid. Under these conditions, the detection limit is 0.8 μg/l with an electrolysis time of 5 min or 0.04 μg/l with 60 min deposition. The relative standard deviation for the measurement at this level is 6% (n = 7). The presence of inorganic and organic substances such as lead, copper, cadmium, zinc, CTMAB, LAS, LPC and Triton X-100 caused some suppression of the selenium peak, but these effects were easily circumvented by the use of standard additions method and a UV-irradiation procedure. The UV-irradiation of the digested environmental and biological materials was also effective in reducing the required dry ashing period to 1 h, as well as in improving the sensitivity and accuracy of the method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-76
Number of pages8
JournalAnalytica Chimica Acta
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 1994


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