The paper presents current reports on kinetics and mechanisms of reactions with mercury which take place in the exhaust gases, discharged from the processes of combustion of solid fuels (coals). The three main stages were considered. The first one, when thermal decomposition of Hg components takes place together with formation of elemental mercury (Hg0). The second one with homogeneous oxidation of Hg0 to Hg2+ by other active components of exhaust gases (e.g. HCl). The third one with heterogeneous reactions of gaseous mercury (the both - elemental and oxidised Hg) and solid particles of fl y ash, leading to generation of particulate-bound mercury (Hgp). Influence of exhaust components and their concentrations, temperature and retention time on the efficiency of mercury oxidation was determined. The issues concerning physical (gas-solid) and chemical speciation of mercury (fractionation Hg0-Hg2+) as well as factors which have influence on the mercury speciation in exhaust gases are discussed in detail.
The paper presents two sample preparation procedures for the determination of aldehydes in wet deposition. In both cases the 2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazine derivatization and solid phase extraction were applied. The derivatization in method A was applied before the extraction, the extraction in method B was carried out with simultaneous derivatisation. Accuracy of both methods was evaluated on the basis of the analysis of aqueous solutions of selected carbonyl compounds. Both methods were characterized by good recovery, however, due to the precision of the method expressed as RSD for testing of environmental samples the method B was used. The analysis of environmental samples showed significant differences in the concentrations of aldehydes in wet deposition, depending on the location of the sampling point. In the case of samples taken from agricultural areas the predominant aldehydes were formaldehyde and acetaldehyde. Formaldehyde was from 31% to 47% of the determined compounds. While in samples collected near a traffic source, in the deposition acrolein was determined at the levels from 62% to 64% of the identified compounds.
The procedure for simultaneous extraction from soil and determination by means of GC-ECD insecticides: aldrin, dieldrin, endrin and herbicide: atrazine was worked out. The proposed GC-ECD technique provides limits of detection in range 12 μg/mL - 18 μg/mL and 2 μg/mL, for insecticides and atrazine, respectively. Two different types of extraction: microwave assisted extraction (MAE) and ultrasound assisted extraction (UAE) with different solvents were tested to choose the procedure that provides the highest recoveries of analytes and low detection limits, typical for trace analysis (100 ppm or 100 mg/g, IUPAC). On the basis of recoveries and precision both extraction methods were compared. The insecticides recovery from soil samples obtained by UAE were in range 40-85%, coefficient of variation (CV): 1.3-5.0%, whereas for atrazine recovery was below 15% (CV: 8-18%). The most efficient and precise extraction procedure turned out to be MAE with n-hexane: acetone. The recoveries were in range 70-85% for insecticides and 84% for atrazine, CV: 0.4-2.2% and 5.3% for insecticides and atrazine, respectively. The presented MAE-GC-ECD procedure enables extraction and determination of aldrin, dieldrin, endrin and atrazine in soil samples with high recoveries, precision and limits of detections in range 6 ng/g - 8 ng/g in the case of insecticides and 1.5 ng/g for atrazine. The MAE-GC-ECD procedure was applied for the above mentioned pesticides determination in environmental samples. Soils were collected in agricultural as well as rural areas in Poland. In all cases atrazine was determined in concentration range: 0.0187 mg/g - 0.1107 mg/g. Aldrin and dieldrin was detected in soil samples from two locations.
The content of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in water and sediments of the Blachownia reservoir (South Poland) was investigated. Spatial variability of PAH concentrations in the longitudinal profi le of the tank was determined. PAHs in samples were determined by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometric detection (GC-MS QP-2010 Plus Shimadzu) using an internal standard. Concentrations ranged from 0.103 μg/L to 2.667 μg/L (Σ16 PAHs) in water samples and from 2.329 mg/kg d.w. to 9.078 mg/kg d.w. (Σ16 PAHs) in sediment samples. A pollution balance was calculated and it was estimated that the infl ow load was 17.70 kg PAHs during the year and the outfl ow load was 9.30 kg PAHs per year. Accumulation of about 50% of the annual PAH loads (8.90 kg) is a threat to the ecological condition of the ecosystem. It was calculated that the PAH loads in bottom sediment were about 80 kg, which limits their economic use. Improvement of the ecological status of this type of reservoir can be achieved by removing the sediment. Analysis of the diagnostic ratios obtained for selected PAHs showed that the potential sources of PAH emissions in small agricultural – forest catchments can be combustion of a coal, wood, plant material (low emission, forest fi res, burning grass, etc.). Transportation is also signifi cant.