Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Elemental analysis is a process where a sample of some material (eg. soil, waste or drinking water, bodily fluids, minerals, chemical compounds) is analyzed for its elemental composition and sometimes isotopic composition.
Elemental analysis can be accomplished by a number of methods, including:
- Optical atomic spectroscopy, such as flame atomic absorption, graphite furnace atomic absorption, and inductively coupled plasma atomic emission, which probe the outer electronic structure of atoms.
- Mass spectrometric atomic spectroscopy, such as inductively coupled mass spectrometry, which probes the mass of atoms.
- Other spectroscopy which probes the inner electronic structure of atoms such as X-ray fluorescence, particle induced x-ray emission , x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and Auger electron spectroscopy.
- Gravimetry, where the sample is dissolved and then the element of interest is precipitated and its mass measured or the element of interest is volitalized and the mass loss is measured.
- Electrochemical methods
- qualitative: sodium fusion
- qualitative: schöniger oxidation
- qualitative: combustion train
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