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Detailed Project Information for:
Mercury Speciation

Project Status
Project Description:

Work on distinguishing between mercury's different chemical forms will be expanded, validated, and drafted into a standard laboratory method. We plan to design an analysis scheme using selective solvent extraction and acid digestion to separate the different chemical species of mercury and to analyze the fractions by existing SW-846 Method 7473. We will also work to develop and validate a method to determine the chemical form of elements by X-ray diffraction.

Status of testing and/or field activities:


Results of testing and/or field activities:

This test method uses sequential extraction and separation procedures to differentiate mercury species that are present in soils and sediments into four distinct fractions: extractable organic mercury, extractable inorganic mercury, semi-mobile mercury and non-mobile mercury. Extraction is accomplished with the aid of either microwave irradiation or ultrasound. Quantification of mercury in the different fractions may be performed using any appropriate determinative method, (e.g. Method 7473, 1631, or Methods 7470 and 7471). The test method also contains provisions for separating and quantifying individual extractable mercury species using HPLC.


The method has been validated and is now posted on the SW-846 webpage

Project information available online?

Yes, view at

Primary Point of Contact Information
First Name: Shen-Yi
Last Name: Yang
Organization: U.S. EPA, Office of Solid Waste
Phone: 703-308-0437
Email: yang.shen-yi@epa.gov
Project information was last updated on August 25, 2005