A batch injection analysis system for ascorbic acid determination using amperometric detection on a sessile mercury drop electrode

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De Donato A.
Pedrotti J.J.
Gutz I.G.R.
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A batch injection analysis (BIA) system, which uses an automatic mercury electrode (AME) as an amperometric detector, is described. The capillary of this AME was adapted in an inverted position through the bottom of a simple cylindrical electrochemical cell, in order to generate more stable sessile drops and to grant free access for the tip of the programmable micropipettor. The BIA system was evaluated by using the electrochemical oxidation of L-ascorbic acid to dehydroascorbic acid on the sessile mercury drop electrode. Acetate buffer solution (50 mM, pH 4.8) was used as supporting electrolyte. The working electrode was operated at +0.230 V (vs. Ag/AgCl). The effect of the dispensing rate, of the dispensed volume, of the distance between the mercury drop and the pipettor tip, as well as of the solution level in the cell were evaluated. Injections of 50 μL were suitable to reach a detection limit of about 2.5 μM (450 ppb). At the 50 μM ascorbic acid level, an RSD of 1.6% (N = 35) was observed with or without mercury drop renewal between injections. A frequency of 300 injections per hour may be reached when the drop is renewed sporadically. The new BIA method was applied to the determination of ascorbic acid in packed/canned tropical fruit juices. Selectivity was granted by differential measurements of the peak current before and after exposure of samples to ascorbate oxidase (from cucumber).
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Amperometric detection , Amperometric detector , Amperometry , Analysis system , Ascorbic acid determinations , Automatic mercury electrode , Batch-injection analysis , Mercury drop , Mercury drop electrodes , Mercury electrodes