Volume 2, Issue 10 (November 2005)
The Use of Microwave Digestion and ICP to Determine Elements in Petroleum Samples
ICP-AES analyses are prone to erros caused by changes in the power level, nebulization rate, plasma temperature, and sample matrix. This is especially true for ICP-AES and ICP-MS organic applications in the petroleum industry where extremely complicated sample matrices are common. As a result, accurate analyses of petroleum lubricants, lubricant additives, fuels, crude oils, residues, and related materials often require bracketing with matrix matched standards, the use of internal standards, and a flexible ICP-AES/ICP-MS system. Many new innovative analytical instruments were developed to better improve elemental analysis in the last few decades. However, sample preparation remains the formidable challenge because it is always labor-intensive, cumbersome, and does not permit fast operation. It is encouraging to see the application of microwave radiation field as the energy source for sample digestion to pursue more reliable, but simpler, safer, more rapid, and less expensive methods, particularly in the petroleum industry.