Samples for silicon analysis (as well as dissolved nitrogen and phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, iron, and manganese) are collected together with a peristaltic pump and tubing and in-line filtered (through a 40 micron polycarbonate filter) into 120 ml LDPE bottles and acidified to a 1% HCl matrix by adding 1 ml of ultra pure concentrated HCl to 100 mls of sample. For every sample acidification event, three acid blanks are created by adding the same acid used on the samples to 100 mls of ultra pure water supplied from the lab. Once acidified, the samples are stable at room temperature until analysis, which should occur within one year. Until acidification, the samples should be refrigerated at 4 degrees Celsius.
Dissolved reactive silica is determined by the Heteropoly Blue Method and the absorption is measured at 820 nm.
The detection limit for silicon is 6 ppb and the analytical range is 15000 ppb.
Method Log These determinations were performed manually using a Bausch and Lomb Spectrophotometer from the beginning of the project until April 1984. From 1984 through 2005, dissolved reactive silicon was determined on a Technicon Auto Analyzer II. From January 2006 to present, samples are run on an Astoria-Pacific Astoria II Autoanalyzer.
field & laboratory