In this work, 5-Methylresorcin (MR) bonded to untreated polyurethane foam (PUF) was successfully employed as a sorbent (MR-PUF) for the selective separation and determination of mercury in natural water samples. Mercury can be quantitatively recovered in the pH range of 5-7. The system presented a minicolumn packed with the new sorbent, where the sample solution was passed through it for a period of time and an eluent solution stripped out the retained mercury, which was further determined with dithizone. The new matrix was characterized by using different tools (IR spectra, stability and density). The kinetics of mercury uptake by the new matrix was found to be fast, reaching equilibrium in 20 minutes. A preconcentration factor of 350 was achieved. The proposed preconcentration procedure was applied successfully to the selective separation and determination of trace mercury in natural water samples. <alternatives> [...] </alternatives>
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