Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects



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The ICP-AES was used to develop a standard test method for the preparation of samples for analysis purposes, a method that could also be transposed onto the new prototypical ICP/TOF-MS. Whereas both of these instruments are analytical spectroscopic instruments and use the ICP's plasma as an energy source, the ICP/TOF-MS also has a mass spectrometer attached to it. This addition gives the instrument better reliability, accuracy, and precision in analysis as well as faster analysis time. Since the ICP-AES is a precursor of the ICP/TOF-MS, it can be used to develop a standard development method. The experiment involved using a coal-ash sample called 1633b. This sample had certain certified values for its elements and its oxides. The sample was run with three different types of acids-hydrochloric, hydrofluoric, and aqua regia-as well as varying other parameters of the sample preparation procedures. Some of these parameter variations were the following: use of graphite crucibles, use of Teflon beakers, and the use of a mixed acid solution. After duplicates were run for each of the separate variations, the numbers obtained from the analysis of the prepared samples were compared with the certified numbers of 1633b. These comparisons gave the researcher the results on which he needed to base his experimental decisions.


Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology