Analytica Chimica Acta
A rapid, highly sensitive two-step procedure for the trace analysis of silver(I) is described. The method is based on: (1) the solid-phase extraction (SPE) of silver(I) from a water sample onto a disk impregnated with a silver-selective colorimetric reagent, and (2) the determination of the amount of complexed analyte extracted by the disk by diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS). This method, called colorimetric–solid-phase extraction (C–SPE), was recently shown effective in determining low concentrations (0.1–5.0 mg/ml) of iodine and iodide in drinking water. This report extends C–SPE to the trace (∼4 μg/l) level monitoring of silver(I) which is a biocide used on the International Space Station (ISS). The determination relies on the manually driven passage of a water sample through a polystyrene–divinylbenzene disk that has been impregnated with the colorimetric reagent 5-(p-dimethylaminobenzylidene) rhodanine (DMABR) and with an additive such as a semi-volatile alcohol (1,2-decanediol) or nonionic surfactant (Brij 30). The amount of concentrated silver(I) is then determined in a few seconds by using a hand-held diffuse reflectance spectrometer, with a total sample workup and readout time of ∼60 s. Importantly, the additive induces the uptake of water by the disk, which creates a local environment conducive to silver(I) complexation at an extremely high concentration factor (∼800). There is no detectable reaction between silver(I) and impregnated DMABR in the absence of the additive. This strategy represents an intriguing new dimension for C–SPE in which additives, directly loaded in the disk material, provide a means to manipulate the reactivity of the impregnated reagent.
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