Application Brief

Analysis of Waste Water by ICP-OES with Axial Plasma Observation

The European Community decided in 1991 to oblige all member states to be equipped with waste water treatment plants for all cities whose waste water organic load is greater than 15000 equivalent-inhabitants before Dec. 2000, and for those with 2000 equivalent-inhabitants, to be implemented before Dec. 2005.

One of the main objectives of the regulations related to urban and industrial waste management was to stop the direct release of sewage waters by 2002 and effect treatment for recycling. The physicochemical and chemical characterization of waste water at the inlet (influent) and the outlet (effluent) of the treatment plants is an effective way to control the process efficiency and to verify the final quality of the effluents (Directive 91/271/ EEC [1]).

Due to its multi-element determination capability, high linear dynamic range and sensitivity, Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry (ICP-OES) is widely used for the analysis of waste waters. Trace, minor, and major elements can be determined simultaneously ensuring low cost of analysis. The application is described in several ICPOES standard procedures such as US-EPA Method 200.7 [2] or ISO 11885 [3].

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