A new method was developed in this work to account for inorganic Sb species interconversion during soil sample preparation and subsequent separation steps. The Sb(III) and Sb(V) concentrations at each investigated step in the analytical procedure were determined using species specific spikes (121Sb(III) with 81.18% and 123Sb(V) with 74.04% enrichment). The spiking of these enriched isotopes species solutions was done separately before soil sample extraction and before HPLC separation. Simply by subtracting the final concentration of each species done by on-line isotope dilution (ID) from its concentration at different stages of the analytical procedure done by species specific ID, the influence of each step on species transformation can be estimated. After optimization, the extraction procedure for inorganic Sb species 6% Sb(III) (1.3 RSD, n=3) and 43.2% Sb(V) (2.9% RSD, n= 3) as percent of total Sb were detected in the examined soil sample using online ID. Using the above described methodology we found that there was no reduction of Sb(V) to Sb(III) during sample preparation or species separation. While about 9.3% of extractable Sb (4.6% of total) was converted from Sb(III) to Sb(V) during the extraction step, no conversion during HPLC separation step was observed. By compensating for Sb(III) transformation during the sample preparation step; the extractable Sb(III) and Sb(V) as percent of total Sb yielded 10.6% and 38.7%, respectively.
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