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South African Journal of Chemistry

On-line version ISSN 1996-840X
Print version ISSN 0379-4350


MOSHOESHOE, Mohau N.  and  OBUSENG, Veronica. Simultaneous determination of nitrate, nitrite and phosphate in environmental samples by high performance liquid chromatography with UV detection. S.Afr.j.chem. (Online) [online]. 2018, vol.71, pp.79-85. ISSN 1996-840X.

An HPLC method using an UV detector was developed for the simultaneous determination of nitrites, nitrates and phosphates in environmental samples. Chromatographic separation was achieved isocratically on a Phenomenex Synergi Polar-RP LC column using acetonitrile and acidified water (pH 2.7) at 60:40 v/v as mobile phase. Baseline resolution of all the three analytes was achieved within 3 min. The developed method was applied to water samples obtained from the wastewater treatment plant in Gaborone, Botswana. The use of HPLC technique in this study demonstrated its ability to carry out a simultaneous determination of NO2",NO3" and PO43- in water samples. The treatment plant was found to be functioning within expectations, removing 97.6 % NO2-, 88.0 % NO3- and 90.9 % PO43- from the received wastewater. Results of the developed method were comparable with those of the traditional ion chromatography method, showing accuracy values between 95.22 % and 98.04 %. The precision of the method for the determination of all analytes was determined by RSD values, all of which were lower than 5 %. The method is of low cost, fast, has an easy procedure and avoids the use of many reagents - some of which may be hazardous.

Keywords : HPLC-UV; simultaneous determination; nitrate; nitrite; phosphate.

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