Oxygen Analysis Overview

Oxygen material on the periodic table. Part of a series.

Analysis for oxygen is conducted using an oxygen analyzer.  This instrument pyrolyzes a small portion of sample in an inert atmosphere (helium) to create the pyrolysis byproduct, carbon monoxide (CO).  CO is then separated and quantified by a thermal conductivity detector.

Sample Preparation

Samples are prepared by weighing a sample portion into a capsule (typically made of silver foil), carefully crimping the capsule and then loading it into an auto sampler.  Typical masses taken for this test are between 1 and 4 mg.  The autosampler drops the sample capsule into a closed chamber where the pyrolysis occurs.


Galbraith’s method for oxygen is based on industry accepted methodology.  It also includes additional QC requirements to ensure the accuracy of results.

Click below to view the method summary:



This method is susceptible to interferences from metallic elements in the sample.  Trace metals are not likely to be a large source of error.  However, if there are large concentrations (% level) of metals in your sample, especially if the metals form stable oxides, this test is not suitable for your sample.

Quantitation Limit

0.5%.  Results that are below the quantitation limit are reported as a less than value, i.e. <0.5%.


Results are reported in % (wt/wt) unless another unit is requested.

Regulated Analyses

Unfortunately, Galbraith cannot offer this test to meet cGMP requirements.  The instrument software does not meet 21 CFR Part 11 requirements.