Standard Article

Sample Preparation Techniques for Elemental Analysis in Aqueous Matrices

Environment: Water and Waste

  1. Sergio R. Marín

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/9780470027318.a0860

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

How to Cite

Marín, S. R. 2006. Sample Preparation Techniques for Elemental Analysis in Aqueous Matrices. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. Chilean Commission of Nuclear Energy, Santiago, Chile

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006


The reliability of results obtained from chemical analysis of environmental samples is related to the sample collection and preparation techniques. A succession of stages is required to obtain a result that is both accurate and representative of the initial material. The task begins by taking the appropriate precautions during collection of the liquid and solid samples, and during their later shipment to the laboratory. The environmental conditions in the laboratory where the sample will be prepared are important, as is the quality of the apparatus, containers, glassware, and reagents that are usually used. The preparation of solid waste samples requires the selection of appropriate digestion procedures, apparatus that is of high enough quality to resist the aggressiveness of some inorganic acids, and convenient systems of security for the procedures that are carried out. The information produced by the laboratory should have a high degree of reliability. For this reason, the procedures used usually permit the results obtained to be guaranteed. The more important procedures include the use of certified reference materials (CRM) and participation in interlaboratory programs. Some organizations, for example the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), have developed and distributed procedures for environmental sample preparation, which are used by many laboratories as normalized methods of reference.