Brines play an important role in many industrial processes, e.g., in the production of magnesium and chlorine by electrolysis, as agent for water-injection in oil-wells, or as starting material for the fabrication of high-purity salts and preservatives. In some regions, naturally occurring brines and sea water are also considered to be an attractive candidate for drinking water production. Yet the direct elemental analysis of saline matrices using ICP techniques in routine laboratories is challenging in respect to (a) achieving good signal stability with low signal to noise levels, (b) ionization interferences of alkali and alkaline earth metals that often lead to intensity deviations in the range from ± 5 to 10%, and (c) maintenance issues, memory effects, and short lifetime of glassware and clogging.
Crude oil always contains salt, either dissolved in water droplets or in form of crystalline salt. Since salt contents can cause problems by forming precipitates, accelerating corrosion processes or catalyst degradation during the refining process, crude oil is undergoing a desalting process. By-product of this process is water of high salt concentrations up to 26 % of mostly NaCl (smaller amounts of CaCL2 and MgCL2), so-called brine. Brine, as a product of petrochemical industry, is a starting material in other industries, e.g. as refrigerating fluid, in water purification or de-icing processes. One of the quality criteria for the further use of brine is its TOC content.