Determination of Abundances of Fifty-Two Elements in Natural Waters by ICP-MS with Freeze-Drying Pre-concentration

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6 Citations (Scopus)


To precisely determine the abundances of fifty-two elements found within natural water samples, with mass fractions down to fg g−1 level, we have developed a method which combines freeze-drying pre-concentration (FDC) and isotope dilution internal standardisation (ID-IS). By sublimation of H2O, the sample solution was reduced to < 1/50 of the original volume. To determine element abundance with accuracy better than 10%, we found that for solutions being analysed by mass spectrometry the HNO3 concentration should be > 0.3 mol l−1 to avoid hydrolysis. Matrix-affected signal suppression was not significant for the solutions with NaCl concentrations lower than 0.2 and 0.1 cg g−1 for quadrupole ICP-MS and sector field ICP-MS, respectively. The recovery yields of elements after FDC were 97–105%. The detection limits for the sample solutions prepared by FDC were ≤ 10 pg g−1, except for Na, K and Ca. Blanks prepared using FDC were at pg-levels, except for eleven elements (Na, Mg, Al, P, Ca, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu and Zn). The abundances of fifty-two elements in bottled drinking water were determined from five different geological sources with mass fractions ranging from the fg g−1 to μg g−1 level with high accuracy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-161
Number of pages15
JournalGeostandards and Geoanalytical Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • ID-IS
  • drinking water
  • freeze-drying
  • natural water
  • pre-concentration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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