Clean Room. When analyzing trace metals, it is mandatory to work in a laboratory with laminar flux of filtered (EPA filter) air from the ceiling avoiding resuspension of dust particles from the floor that could contaminate the samples with trace metals.
Laminar Flow Bench. Placed inside the clean room it serves to manipulate the samples (filtration, addition of reagents, etc…) avoiding contamination. Link.
Milli-Q Water System. It produces high quality water (ultrapure). The purification processes involve successive steps of filtration and deionisation, to achieve a purity expediently characterised in terms of resistivity (typically 18.2 MΩ·cm). Link.
Automatic Acid Reflux System. Used to clean plastic or glass material that will serve to manipulate samples or reagents for trace metal analysis.
UV Digestion Systems
The ultraviolet digestion is used to break down the organic matter that binds metals in natural waters. Without this digestion, trace metal concentrations could be underestimated when measured by polarography or FIA-CL.
Polarograph (Metrohm VA-694 and Metrohm 745 VA trace analyser). An equipment for the analysis of dissolved trace metals at extremely low concentrations (nanomolar to picomolar). The information about an analyte is obtained by measuring the current as the potential is varied. Link.
FIA Chemiluminescence System (FeLume (II), Waterville Analytical). An equipment for the analysis of dissolved trace metals at extremely low concentrations (nanomolar to picomolar). In this technique, the analyte is proportional to the emission of light with limited emission of heat (luminescence), as the result of a chemical reaction. Link
Nutrient Analyser (Alliance). The system allows measuring nitrite, nitrate, ammonia, silicate and phospate in all type of waters.
Microwave Digesters (Milestone 1200 Mega and Mars Express). The purpose of this equipment is to digest solid samples. Trace metals present in the solid form are incorporated into a solution and could be measured by Polarography, FIA-CL, GF-AAS or F-AAS depending on the concentration.
ET-AAS y F-AAS (SpectrAA 220FS and SpectrAA, 220Varian). Atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) is a spectroanalytical procedure for the qualitative and quantitative determination of chemical elements employing the absorption of optical radiation (light) by free atoms in the gaseous state. In analytical chemistry the technique is used for determining the concentration of a particular element (the analyte) in a sample to be analyzed. In order to analyze a sample for its atomic constituents, it has to be atomized. The atomizers most commonly used nowadays are flames (F-AAS) and electrothermal (i.e.graphite tube) (ET-AAS) atomizers. Link.