Effect of Organic P Forms and P Present in Inorganic Colloids on the Determination of Dissolved P in Environmental Samples by the Diffusive Gradient in Thin Films Technique, Ion Chromatography, and Colorimetry
The speciation of P in environmental samples is operationally defined, since it depends on the analytical method used. In this study, we compared four methods to measure P in solution: ion chromatography (IC), the malachite green colorimetric method (CM), the diffusive gradient in thin films technique (DGT) and, for total dissolved P, optical inductively coupled plasma (ICP). These methods were compared on three sets of solutions (filtered over <0.45 mu m): solutions with model organic P compounds, suspensions of synthesized inorganic Fe and Al colloids loaded with P, and environmental samples. The environmentally relevant organic P compounds were only marginally detected by CM and IC. Substantial fractions of certain organic P compounds contributed to the DGT measurement. Colorimetric analysis of DGT eluates detected in general less P than ICP analysis, indicating that these organic P compounds sorbed on the zero sink layer. Phosphorus associated with inorganic colloids was completely recovered by CM, but not by IC and least by DGT.,Measurements on a wide set of 271 environmental samples (soil pore waters, groundwaters, and surface waters) suggest that sulfite water P is largely present as orthophosphate and phosphate sorbed onto inorganic colloids, whereas organic P contributes more in groundwaters.