Analysis of Highly Mineralized Aqueous Solutions by ICP-AES

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Courtesy of Shimadzu Scientific Instruments Inc

Environmental Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) methods, such as EPA 200.7 or SW846 Method 6010, expect that samples will be fairly dilute without an overabundance of dissolved constituents (less than 2000 ppm Total Dissolved Solids). Laboratories running mine-impacted waters, such as acid rock drainage from exposed copper tailings, or mineral digests of a “waste” sample (that is actually ore) may run Method 200.7 or 6010 as written. They do this to remain in compliance, but in doing so may get incorrect results. Often analysts will dilute samples as an effort to overcome spectral and physical interferences. Unfortunately, the dilution could render low trace metal analysis useless. This paper examines the use of features commonly available on modern ICP instruments that readily overcome many of these interferences.

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