What is EPA Method 7473 for Mercury Analysis Systems?


Mercury is a naturally occurring element found in the earth’s crust. Its abundance is around 0.08 parts per million (ppm) of mass. It can be found in many different sources, including wastewater, seafood, and emissions from burning coal. This element has been considered a pollutant in modern society, and examination of this mineral in environmental samples is necessary to determine its presence in a given area.

Mercury is naturally occurring in the earth’s crust with an average abundance of 0.08 parts per million (ppm). However, the modern world has relegated this mineral to the category of environmental pollutants and is highly concerned about the health hazards it poses (www.wikipedia.org/Mercury_poisoning) especially in water. Several analytical techniques exist to measure the concentration in a variety of samples.

The preferred method for mercury analysis depends on the type of sample, the analytical methodology, and the regulatory requirements of the laboratory. There are several different methods for this mineral’s analysis, including atomic spectroscopy. Every company or need is different, and all possibilities should be investigated.

The EPA Method 7473 was developed to rapidly measure the concentration of this mineral in soil. It consists of weighing a sample in a boat and placing it into an autosampler. The sample is then processed using a gold amalgamator, catalyst, and combustion.

The process is quick and efficient, and the hazardous gas is released quickly. EPA Method 7473 is the preferred mercury analysis system for environmental monitoring. This white paper describes the method, its benefits, and how it works.

Microwave Digestion of Carbon

The use of microwave digestion of carbon in analysis has recently been approved by EPA as a highly reliable analytical method. A microwave digester can efficiently dissolve and separate mercury from oil-based samples.

The method has been tested and proven accurate using certified reference materials. In addition, it is a cost-effective option for examinations. Here are some important considerations that should be considered when using microwave digestion for examination.

Auto-Blanking Feature

The auto-blanking feature in Mercury analysis is a key benefit for environmental investigations. This feature enables continuous and reliable examination around the clock. In addition, it allows for excellent agreement between measured and true values. Several researchers have used this feature to improve their analytical results. Here are a few examples.

All of them are based on accurate and timely data from independent labs. And each one of them has their own set of advantages and disadvantages.



ICP-AES is a powerful tool used for trace elemental examination and has recently been implemented for environmental monitoring. The technique uses an ion source to ionize the analyte in suspension and acquire a characteristic atomic emission spectrum. Mercury can be directly detected using ICP-AES up to 0.005 parts per million. To use this method, the sample should be prepared properly and contain only the appropriate concentration of this mineral.


Mercury is also a concern when it comes to the safety of drinking water, wastewater, and soil. Various methods of this mineral examination are available, including ion-capture chromatography (ICP-MS), cold vapor, and chromatography. However, these methods require extensive sample preparation procedures and are time-consuming. Therefore, this type of examination using these methods should be performed only by highly trained personnel.

In this study, a new method for ICP-MS analysis was developed by combining two methods. The analytical method used for determining this mineral’s amount is known as cold vapor ICP-OES, and it is fast and sensitive. The limit of detection was 3.41 mg/kg of dried wood.

This method reduced the detection limit by 99-98 % compared to classic ICP-OES. If you want to know about the other EPA methods you can click here and discover how they differ. In addition, sample preparation was carried out using microwave digestion and two acid compositions. The optimal sample preparation was performed with aqua regia.

Doublebeam Technology

One of the key factors for accurate and reliable analysis is the detection limit. This is critical when using real-time examination equipment. For example, an improved sensor can detect mercury at low levels.

This will help determine the amount present in a sample. Ultimately, the measurement limit will determine the amount of the element in a single, solitary sample. Doublebeam technology for an examination is one of the best ways to achieve this goal.


Many large contract laboratories have begun to receive requests for examination. Fortunately, analysis can be quite inexpensive. Many laboratories have dedicated equipment for the task, such as the Milestone DMA-80 evo direct analyzer. It provides double the productivity at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods.

Additionally, the Milestone DMA-80 evo is compatible with a wide range of samples. In addition, dedicated examination methods can be broken down into various components, such as sample digestion, pre-digestion handling, and sample examination.