ASTM D1971 - 11

    Standard Practices for Digestion of Water Samples for Determination of Metals by Flame Atomic Absorption, Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption, Plasma Emission Spectroscopy, or Plasma Mass Spectrometry

    Active Standard ASTM D1971 | Developed by Subcommittee: D19.05

    Book of Standards Volume: 11.01


    Buy Standard (PDF)
    6 pages
    $42.00
    Buy Standard (Print)
    6 pages
    $42.00
    Buy Standard + Redline (PDF)
    12 pages
    $50.40

    Historical (view previous versions of standard)


    ASTM D1971

    Significance and Use

    The determination of metals in water often requires the measurement of total (suspended and dissolved) metals as well as soluble (dissolved) metals. In such cases, consistent and dependable digestion procedures must be used so that data derived for the total metals content is reliable.

    The practices given are applicable to a wide variety of sample types for the purpose of preparing a sample for metals analyses by atomic absorption spectrophotometry or plasma emission spectroscopy (see Test Methods D1976, D3919, D4691, and D4190) or plasma-mass spectrometry (See Test Method D5673) and have been shown to give good recovery in the following matrices: industrial effluents; waste water treatment plant influents, sludges, dewatered sludges, and effluents; river and lake waters; and plant and animal tissues. Elements which have shown good recovery include: copper, nickel, lead, zinc, cadmium, iron, manganese, magnesium, and calcium.

    Good recovery for the indicated sample types and metals may not be achieved at all times due to each sample's unique characteristics. Users must always validate the practice for their particular samples.

    The analytical results achieved after applying these practices cannot necessarily be deemed as a measure of bioavailable or environmentally available elements.

    These three practices may not give the same recovery when applied to the same sample, nor will they necessarily give the same results as achieved using other digestion techniques. An alternate digestion technique is Practice D4309.

    1. Scope

    1.1 Most atomic absorption and plasma emission spectroscopy, and plasma-mass spectrometric test methods require that the metals of interest be dissolved in a liquid phase before being introduced into the spectrophotometer. These practices describe digestion or dissolution procedures whereby analyte metals associated with the solid fraction of a sample can be brought into solution for subsequent analysis. The following practices are included:

    Sections
    Practice ADigestion with Mineral Acids and
    Elevated Pressure
    8 through 13
    Practice BDigestion with Mineral Acids and
    Heating at Atmospheric Pressure
    14 through 19
    Practice CIn-bottle digestion with Mineral Acids20 through 25

    1.2 These practices have been demonstrated to be applicable to a wide variety of sample types and sample matrices, and in many cases, will give complete dissolution of the analyte metals of interest. They are by no means the only digestion procedures available.

    1.3 The user of these practices should be cautioned that these practices may not completely dissolve all portions of a sample's solid phase and may not give complete recovery of the desired analyte metals. In these cases, other digestion techniques are available that will effect complete dissolution of a sample. It is the user's responsibility to ensure the validity of these practices for use on their particular sample matrix, for their metals of interest.

    1.4 This practice assumes that the criteria established in Guide D3856 can be met.

    1.5 These digestion procedures have been selected for their wide application, low cost, and ease of use.

    1.6 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only.

    1.7 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. Specific hazard statements are given in Section 6.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D511 Test Methods for Calcium and Magnesium In Water

    D857 Test Method for Aluminum in Water

    D858 Test Methods for Manganese in Water

    D1068 Test Methods for Iron in Water

    D1129 Terminology Relating to Water

    D1193 Specification for Reagent Water

    D1687 Test Methods for Chromium in Water

    D1688 Test Methods for Copper in Water

    D1691 Test Methods for Zinc in Water

    D1886 Test Methods for Nickel in Water

    D1976 Test Method for Elements in Water by Inductively-Coupled Argon Plasma Atomic Emission Spectroscopy

    D3370 Practices for Sampling Water from Closed Conduits

    D3372 Test Method for Molybdenum in Water

    D3557 Test Methods for Cadmium in Water

    D3558 Test Methods for Cobalt in Water

    D3559 Test Methods for Lead in Water

    D3645 Test Methods for Beryllium in Water

    D3856 Guide for Management Systems in Laboratories Engaged in Analysis of Water

    D3866 Test Methods for Silver in Water

    D3919 Practice for Measuring Trace Elements in Water by Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry

    D4190 Test Method for Elements in Water by Direct-Current Plasma Atomic Emission Spectroscopy

    D4191 Test Method for Sodium in Water by Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry

    D4192 Test Method for Potassium in Water by Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry

    D4309 Practice for Sample Digestion Using Closed Vessel Microwave Heating Technique for the Determination of Total Metals in Water

    D4691 Practice for Measuring Elements in Water by Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry

    D5673 Test Method for Elements in Water by Inductively Coupled Plasma--Mass Spectrometry


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 77.040.30 (Chemical analysis of metals)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    DOI: 10.1520/D1971-11

    ASTM International is a member of CrossRef.

    ASTM D1971

    Citing ASTM Standards
    Back to Top