Combustion with oxygen in a sealed Parr vessel has been accepted for many years as a standard method for converting solid and liquid combustible samples into soluble forms for chemical analysis. It is a reliable method whose effectiveness stems from its ability to treat samples quickly and conveniently within a closed system without losing any of the sample or its combustion products. All hydrocarbons are oxidized to carbon dioxide and water by the reaction, and all sulfur compounds are converted to soluble forms and absorbed in a small amount of water placed in the vessel. Organic chlorine compounds are converted to HCl or chlorides. Any mineral constituents remain as ash, but other inorganic elements such as arsenic, boron and all of the halogens are recovered with the vessel washings. The entire procedure is simple and straightforward, with its superiority over other sample preparation methods derived primarily from its: speed, safety and significant sample size. Samples large enough to be statistically significant can be treated in these vessels with complete sample recovery.
Note About Nomenclature: Historically, burning a sample enclosed in a high pressure oxygen environment is known as Oxygen Bomb Calorimetry and the vessel containing the sample is known as an Oxygen Bomb. The terms bomb and vessel are used interchangeably.