ICP Analysis of Solids/Waste Slurries

Buqian Wang, Western Kentucky University


The direct injection of solids/water slurries into an inductively coupled plasma (ICP) spectrometer offers a rapid and easy method for the analysis of major, minor, and trace elements in coal, coal ash, cements, and refractory materials. In this study aqueous slurries of 6 coals were prepared by milling with a stirred-ball slurry attritor mill and an air impact pulverizer. ICP analysis values obtained for the six coals by the two different grinding methods were compared. Five coal ashes and five check standard reference materials were ground by an attritor mill and analyzed with an ICP spectrometer. Slurries of standard reference materials prepared in the same manner were used to calibrate the spectrometer. The results indicate that the ICP method is poor for coal/water slurries. The recovery and analysis of major, minor, and trace elements in coal ash, slag, and refractory materials is good using the slurry ICP method. These results suggest that this method may be applicable for the analysis of finely divided solid samples using inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry.