Elemental Microanalysis Analytical Services

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Organic Analysis  CHN (OS) Analysis

Our laboratory can offer results within 48 hours or less.

The system is calibrated using NIST traceable reference standards. Our commercial elemental analysers run under computer control.

Sample weight requirement for CHN analysis is typically 2mg or more (see below table). The minimum sample weights vary according to the sample type and the anticipated percentages of carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen.

Where samples are heterogeneous (i.e. plant material), larger samples sizes (up to 100 mg) may be required to provide a representative sample.

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For other analysis requirements please Contact Us. Samples are always analysed in duplicate using our ISO 9001 certified consumables to ensure no contamination to your specimen.

We can analyse gas, liquid or solid samples. Air sensitive samples will be processed at no extra charge.

Our experienced analysts can also provide a sample preparation service.

Our techniques are quantitative in the range of 500ppm to 100% and we typically use sample weights of 2mg to 250mg.

Over the past 30 years our accumulated analytical expertise has been routinely applied to a diverse range of sample types and applications.

Analytical results on routine organic compounds have an uncertainty better than 0.25% for carbon, 0.05% for hydrogen and 0.10% for nitrogen

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CHN Total Carbon, Hydrogen & Nitrogen

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  • Samples weighed precisely into tin capsules and dropped at pre-set times into combustion tube (at 1000°C). A constant stream of helium is maintained through the tube.
  • Helium stream replaced by pure oxygen for a brief period prior to sample introduction.
  • Sample instantaneously burned (flash combustion) followed by intense oxidation of tin capsule at 1800°C.
  • Resulting combustion gases passed over catalysts to ensure complete oxidation and absorption of halogens, sulphur and other interferences.
  • Excess oxygen removed as gases are swept through reduction tube containing copper at 650°C. Any oxides of nitrogen reduced to nitrogen gas.
  • Gases are then separated on chromatographic column into N, C, and H. These gases are quantitatively measured by a thermal conductivity detector.

Interferences

This technique is generally free of interferences

  • A few silicon and organo-metallic compounds exhibit a tendency to form stable carbides.
  • Samples containing phosphorus may not combust successfully and give low carbon values.
  • The analysis of numerous fluorine containing compounds will cause errors in the hydrogen result.

All the above problems can be remedied with the addition of additives to the sample.

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 O Oxygen Analysis

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  • Samples are weighed precisely into silver capsules and dropped at pre-set times into reaction tube (at 1050°C). A constant stream of helium is maintained through tube in sample to carbon monoxide.
  • Carbon monoxide is separated from other gases on a chromatographic column and quantitatively measured by a thermal conductivity detector.

Interferences

The technique is generally free of interferences for compounds containing only carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, sulphur, chlorine, bromine or iodine.

  • Fluorine interferes significantly due to its ability to liberate oxygen from the glass components in the system.
  • Alkaline metals, alkaline earths, lanthanide and actinide series, silicon and other elements that form thermally stable oxides not reduced by carbon can induce significant errors.
  • Phosphorus compounds can poison the carbon catalyst sufficiently to passivate its performance.
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TOC Total Organic Carbon

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  • Samples are precisely weighed into silver boats or capsules that have been acidified by 1:1 hydrochloric acid and digested at 80°C.
  • This eliminates carbonates as carbon dioxide. 
  • After final encapsulation samples are dropped at pre-set times into a combustion tube (at 1000°C). A constant stream of helium is maintained through the tube.
  • Helium stream replaced by pure oxygen for a brief period prior to sample introduction.
  • Sample is instantaneously burned.
  • Resulting combustion gases passed over catalysts to ensure complete oxidation and absorption of halogens, sulphur and other interferences.
  • Excess oxygen is removed as gases are swept through reduction tube containing copper at 650°C.
  • Carbon dioxide separated from other unwanted gases on a chromatographic column and quantitatively measured by a thermal conductivity detector.

Interferences

The technique is generally free of interferences.

  • A few silicon and organo-metallic compounds exhibit a tendency to form stable carbides.
  • Samples containing phosphorus may not combust successfully and give low carbon values.
  • All of these problems can be remedied with the addition of additives to the sample, including most inorganic compounds such as carbides and nitrides.
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S Sulphur Analysis

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  • Samples are precisely weighed precisely into tin capsules and dropped at pre-set times into combustion tube (at 1000°C). A constant stream of helium is maintained through tube.
  • Helium stream replaced by pure oxygen for brief period prior to sample introduction.
  • Sample instantaneously burned (flash combustion) followed by intense oxidation of tin capsule at 1800°C.
  • Resulting combustion gases passed over catalysts to ensure complete oxidation.
  • Gas stream dried by means of a water scrubber. 
  • Excess oxygen removed as gases are swept through reduction tube containing copper at 650°C
  • Finally sulphur dioxide is separated from other interfering gases on chromatographic column and quantitatively measured by thermal conductivity detector.

Interferences

The technique is generally free of interferences.

  • Some inorganic materials may not liberate sulphur immediately, this can be remedied with the addition of additives to sample.
  • A few compounds that contain phosphorus may form thermally stable compounds that may bind some sulphur.
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N Nitrogen (Protein) Analysis

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Samples are precisely weighed precisely into tin capsules and dropped at pre-set times into a combustion tube (at 950°C). A constant stream of helium is maintained through tube.

  • Helium stream replaced by pure oxygen for brief period prior to sample introduction.
  • Sample instantaneously burned (flash combustion) followed by intense oxidation of tin capsule at 1800°C
  • Resulting combustion gases passed over catalysts to ensure complete oxidation and absorption of halogens, sulphur and other interferences.
  • Excess oxygen removed as gases are swept through reduction tube containing copper at 650°C. Oxides of nitrogen reduced to nitrogen gas.
  • Water and carbon dioxide removed by passing gases through scrubbing tubes.
  • Remaining nitrogen gas is quantitatively measured by a thermal conductivity detector.
  • Protein value is normally calculated using a factor of 6.25 unless otherwise specified.

Interferences

The technique is generally free of interferences.

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