alexa The use of microemulsion for determination of sodium and potassium in biodiesel by flame atomic absorption spectrometry.
Environmental Sciences

Environmental Sciences

Journal of Petroleum & Environmental Biotechnology

Author(s): de Jesus A, Silva MM, Vale MG

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Abstract A new method for F AAS determination of sodium and potassium in biodiesel using water-in-oil microemulsion as sample preparation is proposed. The method was investigated for biodiesel produced from different sources, as soybean, castor and sunflower oil and animal fat and was also applied for vegetable oils. The optimized condition for microemulsion formation was 57.6\% (w/w) of n-pentanol, 20\% (w/w) of biodiesel or vegetable oil, 14.4\% (w/w) of Triton X-100 and 8\% (w/w) of water (aqueous standard of KCl or NaCl in/or diluted HNO(3)). The optimized instrumental parameters were: aspiration rate of 2 mL min(-1) and the flame composition of 0.131 of C(2)H(2)/air ratio. For comparison purpose, the determination of sodium and potassium were also carried out according to European norms (EN 14108 and EN 14109, respectively). These norms are applied for determination of sodium and potassium in fatty acid methylic ester samples and consist in the sample dilution using organic solvent and determination by F AAS. The stability of microemulsified aqueous standards and samples was investigated and it was found to be stable for at least 3 days while the organic standard diluted with xylene showed a decrease around of 15\% in the analytical signal in 1h. The limits of detection were 0.1 microg g(-1) and 0.06 microg g(-1) and the obtained characteristic concentrations were 25 microg L(-1) and 28 microg L(-1) for sodium and potassium, respectively. The proposed method presented two times better limits of detection and better precision (0.4-1.0\%) when compared with the dilution technique (1.5-4.5\%). The accuracy of the method was evaluated through recovery tests and comparison with the results obtained by dilution technique. The recoveries ranged from 95\% to 115\% for biodiesel and 90\% to 115\% for vegetable oil samples. Comparison between the results obtained for biodiesel by both methods showed no significant differences at the 95\% confidence level according to a Student's t-test. This study shows that the proposed method based on microemulsion as sample preparation can be applied as an efficient alternative for sodium and potassium determination in biodiesel samples. This article was published in Talanta and referenced in Journal of Petroleum & Environmental Biotechnology

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