Simultaneous multicomponent analysis is usually carried out by multivariate calibration models such as partial least squares (PLS) that utilize the full spectrum. It has been demonstrated by both experimental and theoretical considerations that better results can be obtained by a proper selection of the spectral range to be included in calculations. A genetic algorithm is one of the most popular methods for selecting variables for PLS calibration of mixtures with almost identical spectra without loss of prediction capacity. In this work, a simple and precise method for rapid and accurate simultaneous determination of sulfide and sulfite ions based on the addition reaction of these ions with new fuchsin at pH 8 and 25°C by PLS regression and using a genetic algorithm (GA) for variable selection is proposed. The concentrations of sulfide and sulfite ions varied between 0.05-2.50 and 0.15-2.00 μg/mL, respectively. A series of synthetic solutions containing different concentrations of sulfide and sulfite were used to check the prediction ability of GA-PLS models. The root mean square error of prediction with PLS on the whole data set was 0.19 μg/mL for sulfide and 0.09 μg/mL for sulfite. After the application of GA, these values were reduced to 0.04 and 0.03 μg/mL, respectively.
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