• Written by Gianpaolo Rota, Application Specialist | 10 May 2022

Tackling sample preparation
for elemental analysis in the Lithium-Ion Battery Industry

Analysis of lithium-ion battery components

Over the last years, there has been a growing awareness to stop global warming and to keep our planet healthy. It is clear that we need changes in our way of life and in our technology. We need ideas to use energy in a better way. A clear step is the move from combustion engines to electric vehicles. Batteries are evolving and Li-ion battery is the chosen technology so far. Consequently, we must understand how to improve batteries performance, and the chemical analysis of battery components is a necessary step.
Materials for anodes, cathodes and electrolytes should be fully characterized. Microwave-assisted digestion has become an essential ally for sample preparation of battery materials before measurements by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry. Several procedures are available for analysis of anode, cathode, and electrolyte materials.
The use of microwave-assisted closed vessel digestions makes feasible the metal analysis of several components used in the Li-ion battery industry. Moreover, this approach led to shorter digestion cycles, using lower volumes of reagents and higher temperatures without compromising safety aspects.
The implementation of Li-ion battery technology aims to a more sustainable world, so a green approach should be taken to address this new analytical challenge. The developed procedures are fully compatible with green technologies and incorporate green chemistry attributes to improve our environment.

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Milestone Srl would like to acknowledge the contribution of Prof. Joaquim A. Nóbrega (Department of Chemistry, Federal University of São Carlos, São Carlos, SP, Brazil) for guidance and scientific supervision of the project, Camillo Pirola (Milestone Srl) for the key advises and Prof. Dr. Nerilso Bocchi and M. Sc. Juliana Bruneli Falqueto (Department of Chemistry, Federal University of São Carlos, São Carlos, SP, Brazil) for providing literature on Li-ion batteries.

Guidelines for sample preparation and analysis of Lithium-Ion Battery components

Sample acid digestion was performed with two types of system based on different microwave technologies.


The ETHOS UP is a flexible and high performing platform used for elemental analysis. Equipped with easyTEMP contactless sensor, it directly controls the temperature of all samples and solutions, providing accurate temperature feedback to ensure complete digestion in all vessels and high safety. ETHOS UP works with SK-15 rotor capable of high temperature (up to 300 °C) and pressure (up to 100 bar). The SK-15 also features Milestone’s patented “vent-and reseal” technology for controlling the internal pressure of each vessel. This ensures complete, safe and reproducible digestions of even the most diffi cult samples.


The ultraWAVE, developed and patented by Milestone, with Single Reaction Chamber (SRC) technology utilizes high-performance stainless steel, allowing to reach higher pressures and temperatures (up to 199 bar and 300°C respectively) and to use any type of acids. Disposable vessels eliminate the need to assemble, disassemble or clean between processing. Just as important, dissimilar samples can be processed simultaneously using any mixture of disposable glass, quartz or TFM vials, thus saving time and money. The ultraWAVE is simply the fastest, easiest and most efficient digestion system ever made.