Volatile metal and metalloid species in gases from municipal waste deposits

Alfred V Hirner, Jörg Feldmann, Reiner Goguel, Spyridon Rapsomanikis, Ralf Fischer, Meinrat O. Andreae

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58 Citations (Scopus)


We have detected volatile species of silicon, vanadium, arsenic, bromine, tin, antimony, tellurium, iodine, mercury, lead and bismuth in gases released from domestic waste deposits, using inductively coupled argon plasma mass spectrometry (ICP MS). By concurrent aspiration of a multielement standard solution for calibration, the element concentrations in deposit gas are found to be in the range from 0.1 ng m-3 to 10 mug m-3 gas. The global amount of some metal species emitted by this process may be of the order of several tons per year. These results suggest a biogeochemical pathway for the transfer of metals into the atmosphere via volatile species. This process may have significant influence on atmospheric cycling of metals as well as on metal toxicity within ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-69
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Organometallic Chemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • waste deposit
  • environmental gas
  • analysis
  • volatile metals
  • biogeochemical transfer
  • plasma mass-spectrometry


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