Qualitative Analysis

A qualitative analysis determines the presence or absence of a particular compound, but not the mass or concentration. That is, it is not related to quantity in that it is not run against a known standard. Occasionally, a comprehensive analysis of a sample will require a qualitative analysis first. One example of this situation occurs when there is not a standard available for the particular sample matrix involved.

We can determine the presence of many different compounds in many different matrixes, and can work with many different gases and techniques to separate the compounds. Only when run against a known standard, can we quantify them. Our normal range of measurement is ppm (parts per million) and many of our results are in ppb (parts per billion). In some cases, we can measure down to ppt (parts per trillion).

In general, qualitative tests can determine the presence of nitrogen, primary amines, organic nitrite compounds, methyl ketones, or compounds which can be oxidized to methyl ketones, aldehydes, esters or ethers, sulfates, halides (qualitatively), certain metals, cyanide, CN-, water, metals, a Grignard reagent, ammonia, ammonia or primary amines, phosphate, nitrogen, sulfur, any acidic hydrogen, acid, and sulfides. Other chemical tests can determine mainly between primary, secondary and tertiary alcohols.

When you're ready to send your sample, visit Getting Started for important information.