Inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry, ICP-AES
This is a widely used method that implies energy emission of an element at its explicit wavelength i.e., plasma excitation and emission. In this process argon gas is used to avoid combustion at extremely high temperature. This test method is started with samples preparation, and if needed sample is treated with acids, heated or microwave digested. Subsequently, water is excluded from the stream, whereas remaining sample is converted to gaseous phase. A nebulizer is used to convert the liquid sample into aerosol. Upon exposure to about 10,000 degrees Celsius, plasma is excited and the light emission of a specific wavelength is measured. A constant check must be implanted to monitor interferences and corrections must be made instantaneously. Some disadvantages of these instruments are their high cost, viscosity effect and plugging of the nebulizer with particulates. This is a very fast technique for analysis of elements of interest in process solutions as it can measure all elements of interest simultaneously; however, there is a high risk of interference that can falsify result.