Teledyne Leeman Labs Blog

Using Teledyne Leeman Labs Prodigy7 ICP-OES for Analysis of Petroleum Samples

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Nov 5, 2015 3:26:27 PM

Since the 1970s, petrochemical labs have used Inductively Coupled Plasma - Optical Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-OES) as a key technique to determine a range of elements and concentrations in both aqueous and organic samples. ICP is compatible with a variety of organic solvents, which means it permits the preparation of a broad range of sample types using a simple dilution.


ICP-OES can detect most elements, which makes it a common solution for food and beverage, environmental, toxicology, photonics, agricultural and petrochemical testing. With the worldwide consumption of petroleum on the rise, controlling impurities in petroleum products is critically important. Refining industries invest significant resources to inspect inbound and outbound goods, and maintain the quality of their products. The ability to measure elements in raw oils such as lead, phosphorous and silicium can prevent damage to catalyst while screening for arsenic, mercury and cadmium can prevent environmental concerns. ICP-OES is commonly used to screen for the presence and levels of these elements because of its ability to detect trace contents.


Teledyne Leeman Labs recently released an Application Note to demonstrate the ability of Leeman Labs Producty7 ICP-OES instrument to determine the range of elements in petroleum samples. The entire note is available online at or by clicking the button below.


For the Application Note, all samples and calibration standards were diluted with high-purity kerosene containing 5 ppm of Cobalt as an internal standard to overcome potential nebulization effects caused by different oil viscosities. Samples were prepared with two types of dilution, one without further modification, the second spiked with a multi-element standards (2 ppm for each spiked element).


Background correction was performed simultaneously with the peak measurement, which improved precision and detection limits. A radial analytical viewing zone was used for all samples. Calibration was the same for all elements, and included diluting 100 ppm VHG V23 standard. The oil concentration in the standard was 10%.


Download the Application Note to review additional instrument operation conditions and calibration, and to review the complete results of the analysis, including tables with results for fuel oil, diesel oil and crude oil samples.


The Prodigy7 can be used to provide accurate and reliable analysis of a variety of elements over a wide range of concentrations in viscous sample matrices. Because of its high precision, accuracy and versatility, the Prodigy7 is an ideal instrument to determine levels of elements in petroleum standards.

Download Application Note

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