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Inicio  /  Environments  /  Vol: 5 Núm: 10 Par: October (2018)  /  Artículo

Voltammetric and Spectroscopic Determination of Rare Earth Elements in Fresh and Surface Water Samples

Martin Makombe    
Charlton Van der Horst    
Bongiwe Silwana    
Emmanuel Iwuoha and Vernon Somerset    


The increasing demand for rare earth elements in green technology, electronic components, petroleum refining, and agricultural activities has resulted in their scattering and accumulation in the environment. This study determined cerium, lanthanum and praseodymium in environmental water samples with the help of adsorptive differential pulse stripping voltammetry (AdDPSV) and inductive coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES). A comparison of the results of these two analytical techniques was also made. The accuracy and precision of the methods were evaluated by spiking water samples with a known amount of REEs. The detection limit obtained for the stripping analysis was 0.10 μg/L for Ce(III), and 2.10 μg/L for combined La(III) and Pr(III). The spectroscopic method of determination by ICP-OES was applied to the same samples to evaluate the effectiveness of the voltammetry procedure. The ICP-OES detection limit obtained was 2.45, 3.12 and 3.90 μg/L for Ce(III), La(III) and Pr(III), respectively. The results obtained from the two techniques showed low detection limits in voltammetry; the ICP-OES method achieved better simultaneous analysis. This sensor has been successfully applied for the determination of cerium, lanthanum, and praseodymium in environmental water samples, offering good results.

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