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Published: Kem. Ind. 51 (5) (2002) 213–220
Paper reference number: KUI-42/2001
Paper type: Review

Cathodic Stripping Voltammetry – Electrochemical Method for Determination of Trace Metals in Water Systems

V. Cuculić and M. Branica+


The general characteristics of cathodic stripping voltammetry, CSV, as a reliable electrochemical technique for analysis of very low concentrations (10-6-10-11 mol L-1) of dissolved metals actually present in an environment are given. As an experimental example, the electrochemical reaction of the copper(II)-salicylaldoxime complex (Cu(II)-SA) adsorbed onto mercury drop and influence of buffer 4-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-piperazineethanesulfonic acid (HEPES) on that reaction are discussed. Chemical speciation as well as the determination of low concentration levels of dissolved trace metals in natural waters have been extensively studied using various electrochemical methods and techniques. Both anodic stripping voltammetry (ASV) and cathodic stripping voltammetry (CSV) are in frequent use. CSV is based on the cathodic voltammetric scan of the adsorbed (accumulated) metal complexes at the electrode surface from the bulk of the solution. Thus, the concentrations of the metal ion complexes at the electrode surface are manifold enhanced as compared with the bulk concentration. Therefore, low concentration levels of metals in natural waters can be determined omitting additional chemical preconcentration steps. The reduction mechanism of the Cu(II)-SA complex was studied by using cathodic stripping voltammetry (CSV). This procedure allows us to measure Cu(II) at the concentrations as low as 10-9 mol L-1.

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cathodic stripping voltammetry, trace metals, copper, natural waters