Validation and deployment of a quantitative trapping method to measure volatile antimony emissions

Caplette, Jaime N.; Grob, Matthias; Mestrot, Adrien (2021). Validation and deployment of a quantitative trapping method to measure volatile antimony emissions. Environmental pollution, 289, p. 117831. Elsevier Science 10.1016/j.envpol.2021.117831

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Microbial-mediated Sb volatilization is a poorly understood part of the Sb biogeochemical cycle. This is mostly due to a lack of laboratory and field-deployable methods that are capable of quantifying low-level emissions of Sb from diffuse sources. In this study, we validated two methods using a H2O2 -HNO3 liquid chemotrap and an activated coconut shell charcoal solid-phase trap, achieving an absolute limit of detection of 4.6 ng and below 2.0 ng Sb, respectively. The activated charcoal solid-phase trapping method, the most easily operated method, was then applied to contaminated shooting range soils. Four treatments were tested: 1) flooded, 2) manure amended + flooded, 3) 70 % water holding capacity, and 4) manure amendment +70 % water holding capacity, since agricultural practices and flooding events may contribute to Sb volatilization. Volatile Sb was only produced from flooded microcosms and manure amendment greatly influenced the onset and amount of volatile Sb produced. The highest amount of volatile Sb produced, up to 62.1 ng kg−1 d−1, was from the flooded manure amended soil. This suggests that anaerobic microorganisms may potentially be drivers of Sb volatilization. Our results show that polluted shooting range soils are a source of volatile Sb under flooded conditions, which may lead to an increase in the mobility of Sb. Some of these volatile Sb species are toxic and genotoxic, highlighting the role of Sb volatilization on environmental health, especially for individuals living in contaminated areas exposed to wetlands or flooded conditions (e.g., rice paddy agriculture surrounding mining areas). This work paves way for research on Sb volatilization in the environment.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography

UniBE Contributor:

Caplette, Jaime Nicole, Grob, Matthias, Mestrot, Adrien


900 History > 910 Geography & travel
500 Science > 540 Chemistry
500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology




Elsevier Science


[4] Swiss National Science Foundation ; [UNSPECIFIED] European Union's Seventh Framework Program ; [UNSPECIFIED] Swiss Federal Office for Defense Procurement




Jaime Nicole Caplette

Date Deposited:

12 Jan 2022 11:21

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 16:03

Publisher DOI:





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