Analytical Instrumentation Inert Coatings for Substantially Improving Analytical Accuracy

Measuring trace (ppm or lower) sulphur, mercury, and other emissions is both required by law and critical to productivity. SilcoNert- and Dursan- coated instruments from SilcoTek (USA) produce virtually instant readings with superior accuracy because critical compounds don’t get adsorbed by stainless steel sample transfer equipment, an inevitable consequence of untreated metal.

Even electropolished fl ow paths take well over an hour to produce a signal without inert coatings. With them, analysts can start to see results within seconds of injecting the sample. This saves tremendous costs in the form of higher daily sample throughput, less labour, and compliance to environmental regulations.

The benefi ts of inert coatings aren’t just limited to better instrument performance. Collecting samples off-site once entailed a frantic race to the lab to test them before important molecules were scavenged by the metal sample storage vessels. With SilcoNert- and Dursan- coated sampling equipment, trace-level samples can be adequately maintained for as long as 2 weeks without loss.

Dursan-coated sample cylinders retain almost 100% of H2S samples after 3 days. Uncoated cylinders consume nearly the entire sample within one day.

SilcoTek coatings offer the chemical resistance/inertness of PTFE but dramatically improved durability, temperature resistance, and adhesion. A SilcoTek coating can be used at 450° C and sometimes greater, whereas PTFE is destroyed above 230° C. SilcoTek’s innovative chemical vapour-deposited (CVD) treatments are bound molecularly to the substrate so they won’t fl ake, even on tubing that is bent or fl exed.

Trust SilcoNert and Dursan coatings for any analytical application: Improve instrument performance and analytical accuracy, Fight corrosion, Reduce the impact of moisture in samples. Easily integrate coatings into existing or new systems – just send your parts to SilcoTek for service or contact an Approved Partner to purchase already-coated parts.

New Paper in Analytical Chemistry: Select TOF Spectrometer Unravels the Composition of Complex Motor Oils

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Researchers at Birmingham University have used Markes’ (UK) BenchTOF-Select time-of-fl ight mass spectrometer in combination with two-dimensional gas chromatography (GC×GC) to improve the separation and identifi cation of hydrocarbons in motor oil.

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The paper, entitled ‘Using variable ionisation energy time-of-fl ight mass spectrometry with comprehensive GC×GC to identify isomeric species’, shows how spectra acquired at 14 eV on BenchTOF- Select can be used to positively identify isomers from the previously unresolved complex mixture (UCM) in

these samples.

The paper is the fi rst literature citation of Markes’ new Select-eV technology, which uses revolutionary ion-source technology to generate ‘soft’ electron ionisation spectra without the inconvenience of other approaches to soft ionisation.

The study, reported in the prestigious ACS journal Analytical Chemistry, was conducted under the FASTER program, which aims to monitor atmospheric pollution and establish the link to exhaust emissions.

Dr Mohammed Salim Alam, one of the principal researchers on this project, says Select-eV has “not only allowed us to observe the molecular ions of species, but has also led us to identify the positioning of branching of straight-chain aliphatic isomeric compounds due to their individual unique fragmentation patterns”.

The authors conclude that “the combination of retention times in two dimensions and mass spectra at low and high ionisation energies confers unparalleled power to identify specifi c isomers within the chromatograms”.

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Direct Mercury Analyser The DMA-80 can

analyse solid, liquid and gas samples with equal precision over a wide dynamic range. Analysis takes only fi ve minutes per sample and requires no sample preparation so the need for any acid digestion or wet chemistry sample treatment is

eliminated. This means ease of use, low running costs and no need for hazardous chemicals to purchase, handle and dispose. Moreover, the typical bottleneck in the analytical laboratory is eliminated and also the costs usually associated with traditional mercury techniques, such as CV-AAS, ICP-AES or ICP-MS.

The DMA-80 cost of analysis is minimised thanks to the speed of analysis, catalyst and amalgamator long lifetime, sample boats durability and the possibility of using air as combustion and carrier gas.

The DMA-80 uses the principle of thermal decomposition, mercury amalgamation and atomic absorption detection. It is extremely easy to use: just weigh your sample, load it onto the built- in auto-sampler and press ‘start’.

Combining an innovative mercury measuring system with a unique optical path spectrophotometer, the DMA-80 achieves a detection limit as low as 0.001 nanograms of mercury and is capable of measuring up to a concentration of 300 mg/kg (300 ppm).

All the DMA-80 components, such as the catalytic furnace, amalgamator and spectrophotometer, are easily accessible for routine cleaning and maintenance.

The DMA-80 can be operated through a touch screen terminal or by using a standard PC. The EasyCONTROL software controls all the system functions, and provides valuable feedback on the instrument’s performances.

The DMA-80 has been used to develop the US EPA method 7473 (Mercury in solids and solutions by thermal decomposition, amalgamation, and atomic absorption spectrophotometry).

It is furthermore compliant with ASTM method D-6722-01 (Total mercury in coal and coal combustion residues) and ASTM method D-7623-10 (Total mercury in crude oil).

Easy with GC Watercol™

For the past fi fteen years, the Milestone (Italy) DMA-80 direct mercury analyser has offered labs around the world unmatched direct mercury analysis productivity, accuracy, safety and performance.

Columns to Measure Water (Qualitative and Quantitative)

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A sharp water peak shape allows linear response, great sensitivity, and reproducibility.

Get applications, product information, real-time availability, and ordering information at

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Our next issue focuses on Viscosity Measurement, Safety and Shale Gas Analysis and Monitoring.

If you’d like to share your news please contact our editor Rachael Simpson today

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