Villalba, Maria Marti, Litchfield, Verity J., Smith, Robert B, Franklin, Anthony M., Lawrence, Nathan S. and Davis, James
Rapid assessment of the latent hazard posed by dissolved mercaptans within aqueous effluent.
Journal of Hazardous Materials, 154
The presence of mercaptans (RSH) can usually be detected by their inherent noxious odour but there is a need to quantify the concentration within effluent and hence allow an assessment of the latent hazard to be made prior to disposal. The versatility of using naphthoquinone as a rapid derivatising agent through which to trap such species has been evaluated. The quinone moiety provides a label that can be quantified using colorimetric, electrochemical and chromatographic means and offers a significant advantage over conventional thiol labelling agents. The analytical characteristics of each approach have been investigated and the selectivity, sensitivity and applicability of the reaction system critically assessed for a range of model compounds. The naphthoquinone system has a detection limit in the low micromolar range with little interference from other components common to discharge water with 96% recovery of mercaptopropionate. The reaction to sulfide (HS−) has also been assessed and a disparity in response between the detection methods observed and a possible reaction pathway outlined.