Determination of Chromium(VI), Vanadium(V), Selenium(IV) and Zinc(II) in the City of Cape Town's potable water by stripping voltammetry at boron doped diamond electrodes
Fillis, Ismarelda Rosaline
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The main aim of this study is to investigate theelectrochemical determination of two beneficial (selenium and zinc) and two toxic (chromium and vanadium) metals in the potable water within the City of Cape Town's distribution area. The Water Laboratory of the City's Scientific Services Branch analyses for these metals in their elemental state, using the Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometer (ICP-OES). This is a standard method used for the detection of trace metals. The most sensitive voltammetric method for determining these metals is by adsorptive stripping voltammetry, using a thin mercury film electrode with a glassy carbon support. This voltammetric method is used for quantitative determination of specific ionic species. Because of mercury's toxicity it is not really favoured for trace metals anymore. Many other possibilities are under investigation, e.g. bismuth-film, modified glassy carbon and antimony electrodes. The boron-doped diamond (BDD) electrode has distinct advantages when used to determine metal concentrations. Advantages of BDD electrodes include lower detection limit, speciation and wider potential window. In this study cyclic voltammetry (CV) was used to determine the copper, cadmium and lead concentrations in potable water by means of square wave voltammetry (SWV) and a bare glassy carbon electrode (GCE). Furthermore, a boron-doped diamond electrode (BDDE) was used to investigate the possibilities of determining selenium, chromium and vanadium by SWV. Real samples (potable water samples) were analysed electrochemically to qualify and quantify these metals and determine whether they comply with the SANS 241:2006 drinking water guidelines.The copper, cadmium, lead and selenium peaks appear very close to the theoretical values, which indicate that these metals can be detected by SWV method, but further analysis with more samples is advised. Even though responses were observed for vanadium and chromium, it was not reliable and requires further investigation. Further studies into the analyses of zinc are also advised.