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EPA Methods 3015A, 3051A and 3052 | Sample Preparation in Multiwave PRO

In the field of environmental analysis, standard methods for microwave-assisted sample preparation, like EPA methods, are of high importance and widely accepted.

1 Introduction

SW-846 "Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste, Physical/Chemical Methods" is an official compendium of approved analytical and sampling methods, published by the Office of Solid Waste of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Amongst others, it contains procedures for field and laboratory quality control, sampling and analysis of wastes as well as guidance on how to select appropriate methods.

Generally the aim of such methods is to improve analytical performance and reliability. Apart from hot-plate based open vessel digestion methods, EPA also specifies closed-vessel microwave-assisted sample preparation procedures for the analysis of up to 26 elements.

While 3015A and 3051A are acid leaching methods, 3052 is flexibly adaptable for total digestion.

2 Requirements of EPA

These EPA methods do not depend on the used instrument, as they prescribe temperature profiles instead of instrument-specific power programs.

The accuracy of these methods depends on precise replication of the reaction conditions.

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