Total Analytical Process

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  1. Definition of the problem - what is required, how many determinations, how sensitive, how accurate, what equipment is available, how much sample is available, how quick is the answer needed, cost factors, sample make up.
  2. Select a method of analysis based on the problem at hand.
  3. Obtain a representative sample. The sample must be uniform (homogeneous), reasonably sized, representative of the total lot. Do you remember about the Blind Man and the Elephant? Various samples require various techniques.
  4. Should the analysis be "as received" or dry for a given time at a given temperature ex. 80oC., 100oC., 110oC., 140oC., 180oC., 200oC. Dessicator.
  5. Measures the homogeneous sample: weight or volume. Sometimes easy others a challenge. The floor sweepings wash water.
  6. Dissolve the sample- water, acid, heat, flux
  7. Perform needed separations, oxidation to eliminate interferences, masking agents.
  8. Make the measurement.
  9. Present the Data and calculate the results. Tables, rejections, multiple tries, Q/A
10.Interpret the data, prepare the results & communicate the results.

{Link to the modified approach to the total analytical process method}