AshingIsolate Inorganic Material by Combustion! In many cases, the amount of inorganic material in a sample is much lower than the amount of organic material. When analysis of the inorganic components is desired, it is often helpful to remove the organic material by combustion. Ashing is typically conducted by charring the sample with an open flame, and then heating the sample in a muffle furnace. Typical ashing temperatures range from 450-550 °C. After the organic material has been consumed, the left over ash can be analyzed by elemental techniques such as ICP-MS, or SEM. Certain metals, such as Mercury, volatilize at the high temperatures usually used to combust organic material. In such situations, a small amount of sulfuric acid can be added to the sample to sulfate and retain the volatile metals. Improve Detection of Trace Elements!
- Concentrate inorganic analytes for elemental analysis.
- Retain volatile metals with sulfated ashing.
- Decompose large amounts of organic sample matrix.