A sampling and analytical system was developed to measure arsine (7784421) gas at the 1 to 10 micrograms/cubic meter (microg/m3) concentration level, involving collection of the gas on charcoal in glass tubes followed by electrothermal atomic absorption analysis utilizing the heated graphite furnace. The recoveries at all levels averaged between 85 and 90 percent; two separate standard solution preparation procedures were not necessary. The detection limit (twice the noise level) was 0.3microg/m3 over 15 minutes with a sample volume of 13.15 liters. When using a nickel modification procedure, mean percent recoveries for arsine loading from 0.01 to efficiency of the collection desorption process did not vary significantly, and the same calibration procedure was applicable at all levels of arsine loading. A trace metal analysis was performed on 10 milliliters of 0.01 molar nitric-acid solution after desorption of 1000 milligrams charcoal. Only magnesium was detectable and then only at the 50 parts per billion level, which is unlikely to produce an enhancement or linearizing effect. The authors suggest that the evidence points to a mechanism involving conversion of arsine to elemental arsenic on the surface of the charcoal.
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