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Through our global network of laboratories, SGS delivers a broad spectrum of geochemical analysis including two-acid, aqua regia and reverse aqua regia digests. Both two-acid digestions and aqua regia digestions are done, using combinations of HNO3 and HCl.

After sample digestion, the solution is analyzed by either inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES), inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) or atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS). These solutions can also be analyzed by hydride atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS) to determine the volatile elements (Sb, As, Bi, Se and Te). Our experts will help you select a method that is fit-for-purpose.

Two-acid digests are the weakest of the digestions and will not attack silicate minerals. As such, the two acid leach can only be expected to provide partial results for most elements.

The methods listed below with the designation “12” are based on a combination of 2:1 HNO3 : HCl. This digest is recommended for samples with organic or high sulfide content.

The methods listed below with the designation “14” are based on a combination of 3:1 HCl : HNO3. This digestion is also known as an aqua regia digest and is recommended for all samples that contain no organic material and are low in sulfide content.

The elemental suite and detection limits are identical in the “12” and “14” digests.

ICP12B and ICP14B - 34 Elements by 2:1 HNO3:HCl / ICP-AES Finish

LIMITSLIMITSLIMITS
Ag 2ppm - 10ppm Hg 1ppm - 1% Sb 5ppm - 1%
Al 0.01% - 15% K 0.01% - 15% Sc 0.5ppm - 1%
As 3ppm - 1% La 0.5ppm - 1% Sn 10ppm - 1%
Ba 5ppm - 1% Li 1ppm - 1% Sr 0.5ppm - 1%
Be 0.5ppm - 0.25% Mg 0.01% - 15% Ti 0.01% - 15%
Bi 5ppm - 1% Mn 2ppm - 1% V 1ppm - 1%
Ca 0.01% - 15% Mo 1ppm - 1% W 10ppm - 1%
Cd 1ppm - 1% Na 0.01% - 15% Y 0.5ppm - 1%
Cr 1ppm - 1% Ni 1ppm - 1% Zn 1ppm - 1%
Co 1ppm - 1% P 0.01% - 15% Zr 0.5ppm - 1%
Cu 0.5ppm - 1% Pb 2ppm - 1%
Fe 0.01% - 15% S 0.01% - 5%

IMS12B and IMS14B - 36 Elements by 2:1 HNO3:HCl / ICP-MS Finish

LIMITSLIMITSLIMITS
Ag 0.01ppm - 10ppm Ga 0.1ppm - 1% Sb 0.05ppm - 1%
Al 0.01% - 10% Hg 0.01ppm - 100ppm Sc 0.1ppm - 1%
As 1ppm - 1% K 0.01% - 10% Sn 0.3ppm - 0.1%
Ba 5ppm - 1% La 0.1ppm - 1% Sr 0.5ppm - 1%
Bi 0.02ppm - 1% Mg 0.01% - 15% Th 0.1ppm - 1%
Ca 0.01% - 15% Mn 2ppm - 1% Ti 0.01% - 10%
Cd 0.01ppm - 1% Mo 0.05ppm - 1% Tl 0.02ppm - 1%
Ce 0.05ppm - 0.1% Na 0.01% - 10% U 0.05ppm - 1%
Co 0.1ppm - 1% Ni 0.5ppm - 1% V 1ppm - 1%
Cr 1ppm - 1% P 50ppm - 1% W 0.1ppm - 1%
Cu 0.5ppm - 1% Pb 0.2ppm - 1% Y 0.05ppm - 1%
Fe 0.01% - 15% Rb 0.2ppm - 1% Zn 1ppm - 1%

The following elements can be added to above package:
Dy, Er, Eu, Gd, Nd, Pr, Re, Sm, Yb

ICM12B and ICM14B - 34 Elements by 2:1 HNO3:HCl / ICP-AES Finish

LIMITSLIMITSLIMITS
Ag 0.01ppm - 10ppm Hg 0.01ppm - 1% Se 1ppm - 0.1%
Al 0.01% - 15% In 0.02ppm - 0.05% Sn 0.3ppm - 0.1%
As 1ppm - 1% K 0.01% - 25% Sr 0.5ppm - 1%
B 10ppm - 1% La 0.1ppm - 1% Ta 0.05ppm - 1%
Ba 5ppm - 1% Li 1ppm - 5% Tb 0.02ppm - 1%
Be 0.1ppm - 0.01% Lu 0.01ppm - 0.1% Te 0.05ppm - 0.1%
Bi 0.02ppm - 1% Mg 0.01% - 15% Th 0.1ppm - 1%
Ca 0.01% - 15% Mn 2ppm - 1% Ti 0.01% - 15%
Cd 0.01ppm - 1% Mo 0.05ppm - 1% TI 0.02ppm - 1%
Ce 0.05ppm - 0.1% Na 0.01% - 15% U 0.05ppm - 1%
Co 0.1ppm - 1% Nb 0.05ppm - 0.1% V 1ppm - 1%
Cr 1ppm - 1% Ni 0.5ppm - 1% W 0.1ppm - 1%
Cs 0.05ppm - 0.1% P 50ppm - 1% Y 0.05ppm - 1%
Cu 0.5ppm - 1% Pb 0.2ppm - 1% Yb 0.1ppm - 0.01%
Fe 0.01% - 15% Rb 0.2ppm - 1% Zn 1ppm - 1%
Ga 0.1ppm - 1% S 0.01% - 5% Zr 0.5ppm - 1%
Ge 0.1ppm - 1% Sb 0.05ppm - 1%
Hf 0.05ppm - 0.05% Sc 0.1ppm - 1%

The following elements can be added to above package:
Dy, Er, Eu, Gd, Nd, Pr, Re, Sm

HAS12B and HAS14B - Hydride Elements 2:1 HNO3:HCl / Hydride AAS Finish

LIMITS
Antimony Sb 0.1ppm - 500ppm
Arsenic As 0.1ppm - 500ppm
Bismuth Bi 0.1ppm - 500ppm
Selenium Se 0.1ppm - 500ppm
Tellurium Te 0.1ppm - 500ppm

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