Volume 17 (2001) Issue 11 Pages 1309-1312
A rapid and sensitive spectrophotometric method is described for the determination of trace amounts of selenium using Variamine Blue (VB) as a chromogenic reagent. The proposed method is based on the reaction of selenium with potassium iodide in an acidic medium to liberate iodine, which oxidizes Variamine Blue to form a violet-colored species having an absorption maximum at 546 nm. Beer’s law is obeyed in the range 2 - 20 g of selenium in a final volume of 10 ml. The molar absorptivity and Sandell’s sensitivity were found to be 2.6 × 104 l mol-1 cm-1 and 0.003 μg cm-2, respectively. The optimum reaction conditions and other analytical parameters were evaluated. The effect of interfering ions on the determination is described. The proposed method has been successfully applied to the determination of selenium in real samples of water, soil, plant materials, human hair, and synthetic samples of cosmetics and pharmaceutical preparations.