Contaminant analysis in complex matrices
In the specific case of metallic contaminants, two analytical strategies are possible:
- A multistep approach similar to the one detailed for organic contaminants: in this case the aim is to analyze the different forms of the target metal (speciation analysis: this is delicate because the molecular information must be kept throughout the analytical procedure)
- A global approach, which is destructive and only takes the total atomic quantity of the targeted metallic element into consideration (elemental analysis – in this case, there is a step of sample mineralization in order to destroy all organic compounds. The quantity of atoms of the metal element is then determined by atomic absorption spectrometry or inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry).