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A Rapid Spectrophotometric Method for the Determination of Chromium in Environmental Samples using Bis (salicylaldehyde) orthophenylenediamine

Author Affiliations

  • 1 Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of Chittagong, Chittagong-4331, BANGLADESH.

Res.J.chem.sci., Volume 1, Issue (1), Pages 46-59, April,18 (2011)


A very simple, ultra-sensitive and fairly selective spectrophotometric method is presented for the rapid determination of chromium at trace level using bis(salicylaldehyde)orthophenylenediamine (BSOPD). The method is based on the reaction of non-absorbing BSOPD in a strong acidic (5.0 M H2SO4 ) media with chromium(VI) to produce a highly absorbing orange colored chelate-product that has an absorption maximum at 478 nm. The reaction is instantaneous and the absorption remains stable for 6 hours. The average molar absorption coefficient and Sandell’s sensitivity were found to be 1.67×104 L mol-1 cm-1 and 10.0 ng cm-2 of chromium (VI), respectively. Linear calibration graphs were obtained for 0.02 – 4.0 mgL-1 of Cr (VI). A large excess of over 50 cations, anions and complexing agents (e.g. EDTA, tartrate, oxalate, citrate, phosphate, thiocyanate etc.) do not interfere in the determination. The method was successfully used for the determination of chromium in several Standard Reference Materials (steels and alloys), environmental waters and solutions containing both chromium (III) and chromium (VI) as well as some complex synthetic mixtures. The method has high precision and accuracy (s = ± 0.0 for 0.5 mg L-1).


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