An on-line toxic metal analyzer based on direct current plasma-excited atomic absorption spectroscopy was previously developed for detection of cadmium and lead species in combustion exhaust gases. In the present work the applicability of the analyzer for detection of copper species in industrial processes was investigated. The detection limit was found to be 0.17 mg/m<sup>3</sup>. Theoretical calculations showed that the detection sensitivity could be improved one order of magnitude by optimizing the background correction. Further improvement in detection sensitivity is predicted using tunable diode laser spectroscopy.

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