Development of a simple method for the direct determination of rare earth elements in refractory materials
The multi-elemental analysis of solids typically requires their dissolution, which is time-consuming and very difficult, and sometime virtually impossible. During this project, a new method will be developed for the direct analysis of solids that are notoriously difficult to dissolve. The sample will be inserted into a small furnace whose temperature will be changed in steps in order to selectively vaporize the elements of interest into the detection system. To facilitate the process, gases that can react with the solid in the furnace will be introduced into the furnace. The operating conditions will be optimized to yield a versatile method that is applicable to a variety of solids. This method will allow Kingston Process Metallurgy Inc. (KPM) to analyze difficult samples in house, instead of having to send them to service laboratories, allowing much shorter turnaround time and with full control on the analysis quality control and quality assurance (QC/QA).