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Selenium Se
Although selenium is a component of many minerals, it is only the seventieth most abundant element in the earth’s crust and occurs mostly in small crystals and in small quantities. It typically only occurs at elevated concentrations in the environment as a byproduct of anthropological activity. An essential micro-nutrient, selenium becomes toxic to most eukaryotic organisms at relatively low concentrations.

Selenium testing for total recoverable concentrations by conventional ICP-MS techniques is extremely prone to mass spectral interferences. The plasma gas (argon) and constituents of the sample matrix (calcium, carbon, chloride, sulfur, etc.) can easily combine to form polyatomic ions with the same mass-to-charge ratios as the various isotopes of selenium, resulting in false-positives and elevated detection limits.

The table below lists the different isotopes of selenium and the common interferences that can affect measurements at those isotopes.

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Selenium Related News

BAL Continues to Expand Selenium Speciation Capabilities

Efficient selenium treatment and understanding ecological risks associated with the contaminant requires detailed molecular information to make educated decisions. As with any element, the molecular form of selenium, or chemical species, dictates how the element will...

In Case You Missed It: BAL Presentations February – April

If you follow our newsletters, you probably have noticed that BAL staff have had a busy winter and spring attending and presenting at many conferences around the country and even overseas. In case you missed any of the announcements or would like a copy of the...

Method Spotlight: Selenium Speciation of FGD Wastewaters

Coal usually contains high levels of selenium, particularly from sources that are also high in sulfur. This results in waste streams from coal-fired power plants having selenium concentrations that far exceed industrial discharge limits. Removal of selenium from these...