University of Oulu

Ronja Suvela, Matti Niemelä & Paavo Perämäki (2022) Determination of Ethyl Xanthate in Aqueous Solution by High Performance Liquid Chromatography–Inductively Coupled Plasma–Tandem Mass Spectrometry and Spectrophotometry, Analytical Letters, 55:12, 1857-1871, DOI: 10.1080/00032719.2022.2031205

Determination of ethyl xanthate in aqueous solution by high performance liquid chromatography–inductively coupled plasma–tandem mass spectrometry and spectrophotometry

Saved in:
Author: Suvela, Ronja1; Niemelä, Matti1; Perämäki, Paavo1
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Sustainable Chemistry, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.2 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Informa, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-08-31


Xanthates are commonly used collectors in flotation processes but are highly toxic to the aquatic environment. However, there are few methods for reliable determination of low xanthate concentrations in water samples. In this work, a sensitive, selective, and fast method is presented for the determination of potassium ethyl xanthate (KEX). KEX was determined by high-performance liquid chromatography–inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry (HPLC-ICP-MS/MS) directly and as diethyl dixanthogen [(EX)₂] after oxidation with triiodide. The HPLC method was optimized for (EX)₂ and the separated compounds were detected by ICP-MS/MS. The ICP-MS/MS was used in mass-shift mode using O₂ as the cell gas and S⁺ was measured as SO⁺ to reduce spectral interferences. Detection limits of 88 µg L⁻¹ for KEX and 20 µg L⁻¹ for (EX)₂ calculated from the peak area were obtained using mass-shift ³²S⁺ → ³²S¹⁶O⁺. No significant matrix effects were present when spiking experiments of (EX)₂ were done to a sample collected from the tailings of a flotation process. The developed method demonstrates the potential of the HPLC-ICP-MS/MS for the determination of ethyl xanthate. This method may be extended to analyzing other xanthates and similarly structured sulfur containing collectors.

see all

Series: Analytical letters
ISSN: 0003-2719
ISSN-E: 1532-236X
ISSN-L: 0003-2719
Volume: 55
Issue: 12
Pages: 1857 - 1871
DOI: 10.1080/00032719.2022.2031205
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 116 Chemical sciences
Funding: The first author is grateful for the funding provided by the Technology and Natural Sciences Doctoral Programme.
Copyright information: © 2022 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.