A measurement method and apparatus was developed to measure continuously toxic metal compounds in industrial water samples. The method was demonstrated by using copper as a sample metal. Water was injected into the sample line and subsequently into a nitrogen plasma jet, in which the samples comprising the metal compound dissolved in water were decomposed. The transmitted monochromatic light was detected and the absorbance caused by copper atoms was measured. The absorbance and metal concentration were used to calculate sensitivity and detection limits for the studied metal. The sensitivity, limit of detection, and quantification for copper were 0.45 ± 0.02, 0.25 ± 0.01, and 0.85 ± 0.04 ppm, respectively.

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