January 2019 – Speciation analysis of methylmercury via species specific isotope dilution GC-ICP-MS – Element 2

Mercury is known as a highly toxic element. When mercury is methylated by bacteria, its toxicity and environmental persistence are increased: methylmercury (MeHg+) is bioaccumulated and biomagnified within the food chain and can have severe impacts on biota and human beings.
Hence, knowing the molecular species of mercury in the environment is crucial.


The determination of MeHg+ with species-specific isotope dilution gas chromatography-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (GC-ICP-MS) has evolved to be the gold standard in speciation analysis of mercury due to its accuracy, precision, and additional isotope information.


This technical note describes utility of the Thermo Scientific™ Element 2™ HR-ICP-MS coupled with the Thermo Scientific™ Trace™ 1310 GC via the Thermo Scientific™ GCI 200™ Interface for speciation analysis of mercury. Provided a suitable preparation and extraction method, this technique can be applied for most environmental samples spanning from plant material to sediment samples and different water samples covering most applications for compound-specific Hg ultra-trace quantification.


Download the technical note AN30465 from the Knowledge Base.