Gas-segmented continuous flow analysis of iron in water with a long liquid waveguide capillary flow cell

Jia Zhong Zhang, Chris Kelble, Frank J. Millero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


A long liquid waveguide capillary flow cell has been successfully adapted to a gas-segmented continuous flow auto-analyzer for trace analysis of iron in water. The flow cell was made of new material, Teflon AF-2400, which has a refractive index (1.29) lower than water (1.33). Total reflection of light can be achieved, provided that the incident angle at each reflection on the water/Teflon interface is greater than the critical angle. Teflon AF-2400 is superior to currently used materials in both refractivity and mechanical stability. This allows for construction of a long liquid waveguide capillary flow cell in a helical rather than linear shape, with compact dimensions. Since the internal volume of a 2 m long, 550 μm i.d. liquid waveguide capillary flow cell is only approximately 0.5 cm3, a small sample volume is required. Utilization of this long flow cell significantly enhances the sensitivity of automated colorimetric analysis of iron by the ferrozine method, allowing for accurate determination of nanomolar concentrations of iron in natural waters. The advantages of this technique are low detection limit (0.1 nM), small sample volume (2 ml), high precision (1%), and automation for rapid analysis of a large number of samples. This technique is applicable to any gas-segmented continuous flow analysis or flow injection analysis with spectrophotometric detection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-57
Number of pages9
JournalAnalytica Chimica Acta
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jul 3 2001


  • Gas-segmented continuous flow analysis
  • Iron
  • Liquid waveguide capillary flow cell
  • Spectrophotometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy


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