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Elemental analysis of soil samples for forensic purposes by inductively coupled plasma spectrometry - precision considerations

Elemental analysis of soil samples for forensic purposes by inductively coupled plasma spectrometry - precision considerations

Pye, K., Blott, S. and Wray, David S. (2006) Elemental analysis of soil samples for forensic purposes by inductively coupled plasma spectrometry - precision considerations. Forensic Science International, 160 (2-3). pp. 178-192. ISSN 0379-0738 (doi:10.1016/j.forsciint.2005.09.012)

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Abstract

Major and trace elemental composition provides a powerful basis for forensic comparison of soils, sediments and rocks. However, it is important that the potential 'errors' associated with the procedures are fully understood and quantified, and that standard protocols are applied for sample preparation and analysis. This paper describes such a standard procedure and reports results both for instrumental measurement precision (repeatability) and overall 'method' precision (reproducibility). Results obtained both for certified reference materials and example soils show that the instrumental measurement precision (defined by the coefficient of variation, CV) for most elements is better than 2-3%. When different solutions were prepared from the same sample powder, and from different sub-sample powders prepared from the same parent sample, the CV increased to c. 5-6% for many elements. The largest variation was found in results for certified reference materials generated from 23 instrument runs over an 18 month period (mean CV=c. 11%). Some elements were more variable than others. W was found to be the most variable and the elements V, Cr, Co, Cu, Ni and Pb also showed higher than average variability. SiO2, CaO, Al2O3 and Fe2O3, Rb, Sr, La, Ce, Nd and Sm generally showed lower than average variability, and therefore provided the most reliable basis for inter-sample comparison. It is recommended that, whenever possible, samples relating to the same investigation should be analysed in the same sample run, or at least sequential runs.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: ICP, precision, accuracy, repeatability, reproducibility, element
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science > Department of Pharmaceutical, Chemical & Environmental Sciences
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2016 09:10
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/2697

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