Simultaneous speciation of selenium and arsenic using elevated temperature liquid chromatography separation with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry detection

X C Le, X F Li, V Lai, M Ma, S Yalcin, J Feldmann

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A method was developed for the simultaneous speciation of both arsenic and selenium based on the separation of arsenic and selenium species using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) under elevated column temperatures followed by dual-element detection using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICPMS). Thirteen arsenic and selenium species, including arsenate, arsenite, monomethylarsonic acid, dimethylarsinic acid, arsenobetaine, arsenocholine, tetramethylarsonium, two arsenosugars, selenate, selenite, selenocystine and selenomethionine, were studied using this approach. The HPLC separation using 70 degrees C constant column temperature resulted in an improved resolution and faster separation of arsenic and selenium species. Nearly baseline resolution of these species was achieved on a reversed phase C18 column using hexanesulfonate as an ion pair reagent. The ICPMS detection of mit 75, 77 and 78 enabled simultaneous monitoring of arsenic, selenium, and potential interfering species, such as ArCl. An application of the HPLC/ICPMS technique was demonstrated by the speciation of arsenic and selenium in canned tuna fish. Arsenobetaine and selenocystine were detected as the major arsenic and selenium species, respectively. The technique was also applied to a study on the metabolism of arsenosugars. Speciation of six arsenosugar metabolites in human urine was complete in 19 min at 70 degrees C column temperature, compared to 37 min at room temperature. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)899-909
Number of pages11
JournalSpectrochimica Acta. Part B: Atomic Spectroscopy
Issue number6-8
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 1998


  • As
  • Se
  • speciation
  • HPLC

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