What To Consider When Analyzing Chemicals


Anyone who analyzes chemicals should be aware of a few considerations. Analysis of a range of a chemicals is not always easy, especially as they can each behave differently. However, knowing what you need to consider can make your job a little easier.

Below, you can find details of some of the things you need to consider. 

The Test Methods Used 

When analyzing chemicals a variety of test methods could be used. However, using the right methods can impact the results you get. When considering a method to use, you may also want to think about the following: 

  • The validation – Whether a typical standard method of analysis is better than a method that offers minimum performance 
  • The quantifier – Whether the result is qualitative or quantitative
  • The level of confidence – If the result given will be good enough and if you will receive positive results that confirm what you’re looking for

Let’s take a closer look at each of these methods so you understand a little more about them: 

The Validation 

When working in a materials analysis lab, 2 approaches may be used. These methods can be used to make sure that the chemical is OK to be used for its intended purpose. 

Using a validation approach is typical in this country as it uses specific methods. However, in other parts of the world, standard or specific methods may not be used. In fact, some laboratories use their own methods. However, these methods need to meet the requirements of local or international laws. 

The Quantifier 

Some techniques used when analyzing chemicals can identify whether a specific substance is present. Some techniques may quantify how much of that substance is present, others do both. 

The techniques that are unable to quantify how much substance is used are called “Qualitative methods”. Techniques such as spectroscopic techniques are known as qualitative methods. Methods such as these can be used in a range of industries and are known as being very reliable. 

The Level Of Confidence 

Ideally, the level of confidence in the results given will be high. However, this is not always the case. Some methods give different results. When a method gives a result that can be trusted the method can be known as a “Confirmatory method”. 

Occasionally, however, it can be cheaper to use methods that are more simple. Methods such as these can offer some confidence in the results given, even if the results are negative. Methods such as these are typically known as “Screening methods”. Additionally, should screening methods give positive results. These results may be acknowledged but perhaps not wholly trusted. 

There is certainly a lot for someone to consider when they are analyzing chemicals. Analysis is not always that easy. Therefore, if you find it difficult or you simply don’t have the required tools, it may be worth asking someone to complete the analysis instead. If you do have the tools and the skills, it’s worth bearing the above considerations in mind.