Publication Date

Fall 2012

Document Type

Project Summary

Degree Name

Master of Science


Analytical Chemistry

First Advisor

Karen D'Arcy, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Timothy Gsell, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Joong-Won Shin, Ph.D.


This study developed a method for determination of Copper by flame atomic absorption spectrometry (FAAS) from the soil samples and mine tailings using Perkin Elmer AAnalyst 800 atomic absorption spectrometer. A detailed procedure has been developed with a detection limit of 0.12 mg/L. In the recent decades, pollution from heavy metals has been increased. Copper is one of the trace metals that has a significant impact and carries risk to the human health. Calibration curve was established with working range 0.1 ppm to 5 ppm with a correlation coefficient of 0.9994. Over 50 environmental samples from the historic Copper mining district of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the Thorn Creek watershed in Illinois were analyzed for the amount of Copper concentration. Environmental Copper levels ranged from 41mg/Kg to 2844 mg/Kg in the Michigan samples and 6 mg/Kg to 72 mg/Kg in the Thorn creek samples.