Monthly Archives: September 2020
Coal- and oil-fired power plants are responsible for an inordinate amount of the toxic pollutants present in our atmosphere. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), they can generate mercury emissions exceeding 53 tonnes per year, representing 50% of all mercury air pollution in the country. Mercury and air toxins are extremely damaging to human health and to our environment, hence the importance of the Mercury and Air Toxic Standards (MATS) rule implemented by the EPA. But stricter regulations on pollution control must be accompanied by improvements to standardised environmental screening and analysis.
NIST-traceable mercury standards fit the bill when it comes to inorganic trace analysis of pollutants via inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES).
Using Mercury Standards in Trace Elemental Analysis
ICP-AES is a powerful tool for trace-level elemental analysis that has only been implemented
Posted: September 09, 2020
The science of measurement is principally the realm of physicists concerned with measuring physical quantities: length, mass, time, and so on. Metrology was applied to the field of chemistry relatively recently, and as such, has not been adopted so easily. Many analytical chemists are yet to be convinced of the value of standardized chemical measurements, with poor cross-fertilization failing to put an end to the debate. Standards solutions aim to bridge this cultural gap by laying out a clear framework for traceability and quality assurance in wet chemistry and analysis.
Certified reference materials (CRMs) for elemental analysis and wet chemistry applications are formulated to strict regulatory standards for a range of downstream applications. Conductivity standards, for instance, can be used to calibrate electrochemical sensors or to assist with conductivity detection in ion-exchange chromatography (IEC).
Understanding Conductivity Standard Solutions
NIST-traceable standards are reference materials certified to specific values laid out by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). They are designed specifically for standardized instrument calibration and quality assurance protocols aimed at eliminating measurement uncertainties. The implication with NIST-traceable standards is that all calibrations are part of an unbroken chain of comparisons from the manufacturer through to the end-user, which is where the term traceability comes from.
Traceability is a crucial parameter in elemental analysis and wet chemistry applications. When we talk about the traceability of measurements, we are referring to systemic reliability – and subsequently the reliability of your results – relative to an accepted set of standards. This is the basic premise of standardized metrology and the international system of units (SI). Yet the traceability of chemical measurements is