In the present study, two analytical methodologies, one based on direct thermal degradation of samples followed
by atomic absorption analysis (TDA-AAS), and another one, which consists on acid microwave-assisted digestion
(MAD) followed by cold vapour atomic fluorescence determination (CV-AFS), have been applied to determine mercury
in mushrooms. Both methodologies found the same concentration values, from 258 to 570 ng g-1 (dry weight), for nine
samples. Analysis based on thermal degradation provided a limit of detection of 3 ng g-1 similar to that found by CV-AFS,
and a relative standard deviation of 3 %, three times higher than that of CV-AFS. However, the direct analysis of untreated
samples agrees well with green analytical principles because it involves less reagents consume and reduces waste
generation. In fact, at analytical Eco-Scale, TDA-AAS procedure involves a green score of 92 points in front of the 59
points obtained for CV-AFS method.
Keywords: Analytical eco-scale, cold vapour, direct analysis, green analytical chemistry, mercury, microwave-assisted digestion,
mushroom, thermal degradation.
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