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Interference effect of iron on the determination of gold in geological samples using the vapor generation technique and preconcentration in a graphite furnace

A vapor generation procedure for the production of volatile species of An was studied using electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry (ETAAS). The interference effects of iron in solution and in the gas phase in a quartz T-tube were studied for the first time in detail. A dual vapor generation system was used for a single heated quartz tube atomizer, so that it was possible to study interferences and classify them regarding their origins. Results show that both gas-phase and liquid-phase interferences are present. It was also concluded that since the total interference effect causes the An signal to be lower as compared to only the presence of gas-phase interactions in the experiment, the net liquid-phase interference from Fe should be suppressed. The method described in this study was used for the determination of gold in an ore reference material, Carlin Ore Mine, for the purpose of demonstrating the ability of the reported method to determine An without any extraction procedure.