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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 14 Issue 5 (2009) pp 229-231

Quantitative Flame Emission Spectrometry Using an Internal Standards Calibration Procedure with a Multi-Channel Spectrometer

Jonathan P. Blitz* and Daniel J. Sheeran

Department of Chemistry, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL 61920,
Received November 14, 2008. Accepted June 26, 2009

Published online: 29 December 2009

Abstract. A laboratory experiment describing the use of flame emission spectrometry using a CCD array spectrometer equipped with a fiber optic probe is described. A sample of Group I ions is nebulized using a chromatographic sprayer into the air intake of a Bunsen burner flame, thus a commercial nebulizer and atomic emission spectrometer is not required. The experiment demonstrates the utility of an internal standards calibration procedure in this very real case where sample introduction is not constant. Calibrations are provided for Na, K, Rb, and Cs using a Li internal standard. Students analyze for sodium by preparing a series of standard solutions with a constant Li internal standard concentration, then use the resulting regression line to quantitatively analyze a provided unknown solution for Na content. Students also analyze a salty food for Na content to compare with the nutritional information provided on the package.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; analytical chemistry; instrumental analysis

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (88 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

Student handout and instructor notes are available (233 KB).

Issue date: Dec, 31, 2009

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