"Thermal desorption experiments" were carried out during which heavy metal evaporation was studied by on-line monitoring. This could be achieved by the use of a tubular furnace connected to a heavy metal detector, i.e. an ICP-OES (inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometer), by a specially designed and patented interface. The spectrograms typically had a time resolution of four different elements per minute using a conventional (sequentially operating) ICP-OES. This study shows how thermo-desorption spectrometry (TDS) can be applied to study the evaporation of high boiling substances, such as heavy metal and alkali metal compounds. The future scope of the method is discussed.