Analyzing Elemental Impurities by ICP-MS

This article is based on a poster originally authored by Oliver Buettel.

Various metals can negatively affect production processes and final product performances, requiring their analysis in Naphtha.

Volatile organic solvents are associated with plasma destabilization, which can be caused by them. Organic matrices can cause carbon- and plasma-based polyatomic interference, resulting in carbon deposits on the torch and interface cones, creating signal drift. To improve product specifications, the required detection limits are exceptionally low.

The Naphtha samples were diluted in n-Hexane (1:10). MDL accounts for the dilution factor.

Table 1. PlasmaQuant MS settings and method parameters for naphtha analysis. Source: Analytik Jena US

Parameter Specification Parameter Specification
Plasma gas flow 10.5 L/min Pump rate (drain spray chamber) 30 rpm - black/black Viton® pump tubing
Auxillary gas flow 1.50 L/min Stabilization delay 20 s
Sheath gas flow 0.50 L/min iCRC H2 - 200 mL/min
Nebulizer gas flow 0.40 L/min Nitrox 02 - 180 mL/min
Plasma RF power 1.30 kW Skimmer Bias (BOOST) 10 V
Nebulizer type MicroMistTM 0.4 mL/min (quartz concentric) Dwell time 20 ms
Cones Platinum Scan mode peak hopping, 1 pt/peak
Torch Fassel torch with 1.5 mm injector No. of scans per replicate 25
Spray chamber type and temperature Glass Scott with Peltier chiller, -10 °C No. of replicates per sample 5
Sample introduction Self aspiration Acquisition time 140 s


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Figures of Merit

  • Precision and accuracy:
    • Spike recovery (10 ng/g): 90-110% for all elements
    • Duplicate repeatability (2.54 ng/g):
      • Mg: 1.42%
      • Fe: 0.70%
      • Pb: 0.86%
  • Extended stability (4 hours):
    • QC Standard (2.54 ng/g): < 10% deviation
    • Sample replicate analysis: < 5% RSD
    • Internal Standard (Y, 25 ng/g): 7% drift

Patented Analytik Jena Technology

iCRC with BOOST Technology

Analyzing Elemental Impurities by ICP-MS

Image Credit: Analytik Jena US

  • Collision-Reaction-Cell integration with the cone interface
  • Simplified and effective removal of polyatomic interferences
  • H2 / He injection through skimmer cone
  • Extra consumables and maintenance are not required
  • BOOST: Skimmer bias voltage retrieves sensitivity loss in gas-modes

ReflexION Ion Mirror

Analyzing Elemental Impurities by ICP-MS

Image Credit: Analytik Jena US

  • Designed with the original 90° ion optical
  • The electrostatic field functions as a parabolic mirror.
  • It reflects and focuses the ion beam into the mass analyzer.
  • An industry leader with exceptional sensitivity and transport efficiency.
  • There is no required maintenance or use of consumables.

Table 2. Method detection limits in blank solvent (ng/g). Source: Analytik Jena US

Isotope MDL Isotope MDL Isotope MDL Isotope MDL
10B 3.1 52Cr 0.03 66Zn 0.30 118Sn 0.02
24Mg 1.1 55Mn 0.09 75As 0.06 137Ba 0.04
49Ti 1.3 56Fe 0.25 98Mo 0.02 200Hg 0.04
51V 0.11 60Ni 0.65 114Cd 0.01 206+207+208Pb 0.01



PlasmaQuant MS has exhibited an exceptional ability to analyze trace metals in Naphtha and other volatile solvents. This method has exceeded all the requirements of ASTM D8110-17. iCRC H2-mode effectively eliminates polyatomic interferences with high sensitive detection limits.

Robust plasma provides precision and long-term stability. It is user-friendly and easy to maintain and has proven performance for even the most difficult samples.

PlasmaQuant MS is engineered for excellence.

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This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Analytik Jena US.

For more information on this source, please visit Analytik Jena US.


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