Superfund Research Program
Trace Elements Analysis Core
The Trace Element Analysis Core continues to provide state of the art analytical resources and expertise to Dartmouth Superfund researchers as its primary goal. The Core has continued to work on obtaining lower detection limits for mercury and arsenic analysis in support of their superfund projects. They have developed a specialized method for the low level detection of methylmercury in natural waters. The limit of detection for methylmercury the researchers achieved is lower than any existing report in the literature. The Core director presented the details of this study at two meetings this year and a manuscript on the method is in review. Vivien Taylor was re-hired as a Post Doctoral Researcher through the Office of Faculty at Dartmouth College. Having a high-level Post Doc in the TEA lab is a real benefit to the Superfund projects as that position can focus on the more cutting-edge method development in support of the Superfund projects. TEA Core staff attended and presented at two meetings this year: the Northeast Regional American Chemical Society meeting (Burlington, VT) and the High Resolution ICP-MS meeting (New Brunswick, NJ). The TEA Core participated in a round robin study of arsenic speciation in a new standard reference material (Dogfish muscle, DORM3, Canadian Research Council). The TEA results were comparable to or better than the other participating labs, and results of this study will be published in an international journal. The TEA Core continues to improve the instrumentation infrastructure to remain at the forefront of low level trace metal analysis. They have purchased a new Agilent 1120 liquid chromatography system to interface directly to their ICP-MS instruments. This will enhance the Core’s ability to perform low level arsenic speciation. In December 2008 the Core will take delivery of a new Agilent 7500cx ICP-MS. The Core will then have three ICP-MS instruments allowing them increased sample throughput while also providing additional instrumentation for method development and for teaching purposes. Additional specialized sample introduction accessories, the ESI APEX and Fast systems, have been purchased. These accessories can be used on any of their three ICP-MS systems; the APEX enhances instrument sensitivity about 10-fold, therefore lowering detection limits, while the Fast system increases sample throughput for automated analysis by reducing the average sample analysis time from 5 minutes to 1.5 minutes.