journal article

Determination of technology-critical elements in seafood reference materials by inductively coupled plasma-tandem mass spectrometry


The certified reference materials (CRMs) BCR-668 (mussel tissue), NCS ZC73034 (prawn), NIST SRM 1566a (oyster tissue) and NIST SRM 2976 (mussel tissue) were analyzed for their mass fractions of 23 elements using inductively coupled plasma tandem-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS/MS). This study focused on the quantification of selected technology-critical elements (TCEs), specifically rare earth elements (REE) and the less studied TCEs Ga, Ge, Nb, In and Ta. Microwave assisted closed vessel digestion using an acid mixture of HNO3, HCl and H2O2 was applied to varying sample masses and two different microwave systems. Recoveries of 76% (Gd, NCS ZC73034) to 129% (Lu, BCR-668) were obtained for the REE and 83% (Ge, NCS ZC73034) to 127% (Nb, NCS ZC73034) for the less studied TCEs across all analyzed CRMs (compared to certified values) using the best-performing parameters. Mass fractions for all analyzed, non-certified elements are suggested and given with a combined uncertainty U (k = 2), including mass fractions for Ga (11 µg kg-1 ± 9 µg kg-1 to 67 µg kg-1 ± 8 µg kg-1) and In (0.4 µg kg-1 ± 0.3 µg kg-1 to 0.8 µg kg-1 ± 0.7 µg kg-1). This study provides mass fractions of possible new emerging contaminants and addresses the relevant challenges in quantification of less studied TCEs, thus allowing the application of existing CRMs for method validation in studies dealing with the determination of TCEs in seafood or other biota.
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