Environmental water monitoring by capillary electrophoresis and result comparison with solvent chemistry techniques

Heli Sirén (Corresponding Author), Sirpa Väntsi

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19 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this work was to determine inorganic ions from natural waters by capillary electrophoresis (CE) and to compare the results obtained with those measured with conventional solvent chemistry techniques. The project was part of a larger CE study, during which we measured inorganic ions from some lake and river systems and groundwaters in Southern Finland. Results obtained from contaminated Finnish waters were compared with samples from the River Rhine in the Düsseldorf area.
Two CE methods were used for analysis: one for determination of chloride, sulfate, nitrite and nitrate at pH 7.7 and the other for ammonium, potassium, calcium, sodium and magnesium at pH 3.6, both methods using identification based on indirect UV detection. Two separation methods were used in order to prevent complex formation of metals with sulfate, hydroxide and decomposed organic matter present in the environmental samples.
On the basis of the CE studies dilution was needed for those samples having more than 100 mg/l of sulfate, chloride, calcium and sodium. On average, the natural waters in the study contained ammonium, magnesium, sodium, potassium and calcium below 0.3, 20, 200, 20, and 200 mg/l, respectively. The concentrations of chloride, sulfate, nitrite and nitrate were below 20, 100, 10, and 10 mg/l, respectively.
Correlation of the CE results with those acquired by titration, atomic absorption spectrometry, ion chromatography and flow injection analysis were obtained; R2 values for the comparison tests varied from 0.8816 to 0.9994 depending on the ion.
The repeatabilities of the anion and cation CE methods were tested using laboratory-made reference sample mixtures with high and low salt concentration
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-26
JournalJournal of Chromatography A
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • inorganic anions
  • inorganic cations


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