ICP Standards: Incompatible Metals in Solution

Anita was hoping Paul could give her some general information on metals that are incompatible with each other within the same solution (for example, element A causes element B to drop out of solution).

Dear Anita,

I recommend you try using our Interactive Periodic Table. Click on any element of interest and look closely at the Chemical Compatibility data for that element. Additionally I encourage you to see our Sample Preparation Guide which includes highly detailed preparation chemistry for metals and many other elements.

The most common compatibility issues we encounter are as follows:

  • Ag+ and trace Cl1-
  • SO4= and Pb2+, Ba2+, Cr2O7=
  • Rare Earth and Alkaline Earth elements mixed with the "fluoride" elements (Ti, Zr, Nb, Hf, Ta W, Si, Sn, Sb, Ge)
  • "Fluoride" elements mixed with higher amounts of any transition elements, especially Sn and W
  • Hg at concentrations below 10 ppm or mixed with elements containing organic ligands, such as Antimony Tartrate
  • Antimony Tartrate in strong (≥ 5%) nitric acid

I hope this helps. I look forward to hearing from you if you need further assistance.

Serving you in chemistry,

Paul R. Gaines, Ph.D.
CEO of Inorganic Ventures & Fellow Chemist

DISCLAIMER: Advice offered by the chemists at Inorganic Ventures is intended for the individual posing the question. Feel free to contact us to verify whether these suggestions apply to your unique circumstances.