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Impact of the Analytical Blank in the Uncertainty Evaluation of the Copper Content in Waters by Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrometry

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Chemical analysts use analytical blanks in their analyses, but seldom is this source of uncertainty evaluated. Generally, there is great confusion. Although the numerical value of the blank, in some situations, can be negligible, its source of uncertainty cannot be. This article discusses the uncertainty contribution of the analytical blank using a numerical example of the copper content in waters by flame atomic absorption spectrometry. The results indicate that the uncertainties of the analytical blank can contribute up to 50% when the blank sample is considered in this analysis, confirming its high impact. This effect can be primarily observed where the analyte concentration approaches the lower range of the analytical curve. Even so, the blank is not always computed. Therefore, the relevance of the analytical blank can be confirmed by uncertainty evaluation.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-03-01

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  • The Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL publishes refereed papers and reviews in the fields of chemical, biological and toxicological analytical chemistry for the purpose of showcasing the most precise, accurate and sensitive methods for analysis of foods, food additives, supplements and contaminants, cosmetics, drugs, toxins, hazardous substances, pesticides, feeds, fertilizers and the environment available at that point in time. The scope of the Journal includes unpublished original research describing new analytical methods, techniques and applications; improved approaches to sampling, both in the field and the laboratory; better methods of preparing samples for analysis; collaborative studies substantiating the performance of a given method; statistical techniques for evaluating data. The Journal will also publish other articles of general interest to its audience, e.g., technical communications; cautionary notes; comments on techniques, apparatus, and reagents.
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