Abstract

Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is showing to be a promising, quick, accurate, and practical technique to detect and measure metal contaminants and nutrients in urban wastes and landfill leachates. Although conventional LIBS presents some limitations, such as low sensitivity, when used in the single pulse configuration if compared to other spectroscopic techniques, the use of the double-pulse (DP) configuration represents an adequate alternative. In this work DP LIBS has been applied to the qualitative and quantitative analysis of mercury (Hg) in landfill leachates. The correlation analysis performed between each intensified charge-coupled device pixel and the Hg concentration allowed us to choose the most appropriate Hg emission line to be used for its measure. The normalization process applied to LIBS spectra to correct physical matrix effects and small fluctuations increased from 0.82 to 0.98 the linear correlation of the calibration curve between LIBS and the reference data. The limit of detection for Hg estimated using DP LIBS was 76  mgKg1. The cross validation (leave-one-out) analysis yielded an absolute average error of about 21%. These values showed that the calibration models were close to the optimization limit and satisfactory for Hg quantification in landfill leachate.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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