A rapid dispersive liquid-liquid micro-extraction (DLLME) methodology based on the application of 1-hexylpyridinium hexafluorophosphate [C6py][PF6] ionic liquid (IL) as an extractant solvent was applied for the pre-concentration of trace levels of cobalt prior to determination by flame atomic absorption spectrometry (FAAS). 1-Phenyl-3-methyl-4-benzoyl-5-pyrazolone (PMBP) was employed as a chelator forming a Co-PMBP complex to extract cobalt ions from aqueous solution into the fine droplets of [C6py][PF6]. Some effective factors that influence the micro-extraction efficiency include the pH, the PMBP concentration, the amount of ionic liquid, the ionic strength, the temperature and the centrifugation time which were investigated and optimized. In the optimum experimental conditions, the limit of detection (3s) and the enrichment factor were 0.70 µg L−1 and 60, respectively. The relative standard deviation (RSD) for six replicate determinations of 50 µg L−1 Co was 2.36%. The calibration graph using the pre-concentration system was linear at levels 2–166 µg L−1 with a correlation coefficient of 0.9982. The applicability of the proposed method was evaluated by the determination of trace amounts of cobalt in several water samples. <alternatives> [...] </alternatives>
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