Increased sample throughput for ICP-OES applied to U.S. EPA method 200.7


The application of an SC-FAST sample introduction system to the analysis of natural and certified water samples is described. The SC-FAST system consists of an autosampler, sample loop, switching valve, high efficiency nebulizer and a glass cyclonic spray chamber to perform analysis by direct nebulization. The potential benefits of this introduction system are numerous and include: increased throughput, reduced memory effects, increased stability, lower reagent consumption and reduced instrument maintenance. These parameters are evaluated as the system is applied to U.S. EPA Method 200.7 Version 4.4. Results indicate that sample throughput can be nearly tripled while still meeting the requirements outlined in Method 200.7. Sample-to-sample analysis (according to Method 200.7 protocol) is accomplished in 77 s with significantly improved washout compared to ICP-OES analysis by conventional introduction.

The analysis of drinking water and wastewater for trace metal contamination is an important step in ensuring human and environmental health. More productive analyses make better use of public dollars and provide laboratories with a better cost of ownership for instrumentation. One way to improve productivity for metals analysis is by using a more sophisticated and automated sample introduction system to maximize the time spent on measurements and minimize the time spent on wash-in and wash-out of the sample. This work describes the coupling of the Optima™ 7300 DV with the ESI SC-FAST sample introduction system applied to a rigorous U.S. EPA method, drinking water/wastewater 200.7. Initial demonstration of capability and continuing quality control checks are measured as a demonstration of the method performance.

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