Abstract

The performance of laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) has been evaluated for detection of toxic metals such as Cr in water. Pure aqueous solutions (unitary matrix) with variable Cr concentration were used to construct calibration curves and to estimate the LIBS limit of detection (LOD). The calibration curves for Cr in a binary matrix (Cr plus Cd) and a tertiary matrix (Cr plus Cd and Co) were used to evaluate the matrix effect on the LOD. The LOD for Cr was found to be 1.1, 1.5, and 2.0ppm (parts in 106) in a unitary, binary, and tertiary matrix, respectively. Once calibrated, the system was utilized for the detection and quantification of the Cr in tannery wastewater collected from different locations in the industrial area of Kanpur, India, where Cr concentrations were determined to be far higher than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency safe drinking water limit of 0.05ppm.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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