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Chemical methods of analysis are inherently more precise than purely instrumental methods. With the exception of trace metal determinations chemical methods are also more accurate than instrumental methods and have a wider range of application, since final measurements are absolute and do not depend on the availability of standards. The main disadvantage of the classical chemical approach is the length of time required to carry out the analysis.
It will be shown in this paper that chemical methods of analysis can be greatly simplified, and their application range enhanced by incorporating into the procedure various instrumental features. The instrument allows the analytical chemist to (1) examine filtrates for solubility products, (2) avoid reprecipitations by determining specific contaminants by instrumental means, and (3) act as final measuring device, after removing matrix elements by selective or specific separations such as ion exchange, solvent extraction, and precipitations. While the interdependence of chemical and instrumental methods is demonstrated in this paper to be particularly striking in the case of precious metal analysis, an area the author has been concentrating on during the last 15 years, examples of the applicability of the “interdependence” theme to base metal analysis are also provided.
chemical analysis, instrumental methods, interdependence
Research director, Ledoux Company, Teaneck, NJ