Reversed-phase liquid chromatography using cupferron as a precolumn derivatizing agent was developed for the determination of Cu(II) and Fe(III) in biological materials and natural water samples. In the direct method, the metal cupferronates formed in acetonitrile-water (1 + 1) are injected onto an ODS column followed by separation with a mobile phase containing acetonitrile-acetate buffer (pH 3.5) (7 + 3) and other reagents. Amperometric detection with a glassy carbon electrode at -0.40 V vs. Ag/AgCl can be used to determine both metals simultaneously. The electrochemical detection method has better sensitivity for the determination of Fe(III) than the usual spectrophotometric detection at 375 nm. If a large volume of aqueous sample is available, concentration of the two metal ions can be made by extraction with ethyl acetate prior to the chromatographic determination. In this case, liquid chromatographic separation and determination can be performed with the ODS column using a mobile phase consisting of acetonitrile-methanol-ethyl acetate-0.02 M acetate buffer (pH 3.5) (45 + 20 + 5 + 30).
- Biological materials