Elemental analysis is a process where a sample of some material (e. g. , soil, waste or drinking water, bodily fluids, minerals, chemical compounds) is analyzed for its elemental and sometimes isotopic composition. A mineral is a naturally occurring substance formed through geological processes that has a characteristic chemical composition a highly ordered atomic structure and specific A chemical compound is a substance consisting of two or more different elements chemically bonded together in a fixed proportion by Mass. A chemical element is a type of Atom that is distinguished by its Atomic number; that is by the number of Protons in its nucleus. Isotopes (Greek isos = "equal" tópos = "site place" are any of the different types of atoms ( Nuclides Elemental analysis can be qualitative (determining what elements are present), and it can be quantitative (determining how much of each are present). Elemental analysis falls within the ambit of analytical chemistry, the set of instruments involved in decyphering the chemical nature of our world. Analytical chemistry is the study of the Chemical composition of natural and artificial Materials.
For synthetic chemists, elemental analysis or "EA" almost always refers to CHNX analysis — the determination of the percentage weights of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and heteroatoms (X) (halogens, sulfur) of a sample. This information is important to help determine the structure of an unknown compound, as well as to help prove the structure and purity of a synthesized compound.
The most common form of elemental analysis, CHN analysis, is accomplished by combustion analysis. Combustion analysis is a method used in both Organic chemistry and Analytical chemistry to determine the elemental composition (more precisely Empirical In this technique, a sample is burned in an excess of oxygen, and various traps collect the combustion products — carbon dioxide, water, and nitric oxide. The weights of these combustion products can be used to calculate the composition of the unknown sample.
Other quantitative methods include:
To qualitatively determine which elements exist in a sample, methods include: