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Peter Iles
Investigation of the use of transition metal ions to remove Chloride interference from Nitrate ISEs
Nitrate is traditionally measured via colorimetric analysis techniques employing a
Copper-Cadmium reduction column. These techniques, though sensitive, are cumbersome and
tedious. Analysis by Nitrate Ion Selective Electrode (ISE) coupled with flow injection analysis can
provide a rapid and automatable procedure for Nitrate determination. Unfortunately, Chloride ions
interfere significantly with the Nitrate ISE, prohibiting its use in seawater and salt-water aquaria.
Precipitation of Chloride as insoluble Silver Chloride has been used to remove Chloride ions from
solution, enabling the use of the Nitrate electrode in brackish water samples. This approach is
very expensive. This work reports the investigation of transition metal ions capable of complexing
Chloride as a means to eliminate Chloride interference when using the Nitrate ISE in Flow
Injection Analysis (FIA) systems. Sample treatments with Copper (II) have shown to provide a
10-fold improvement in selectivity.