Direct Mercury Analysis for environmental research and teaching

Lincoln University


Abua Ikem, Ph.D. is a Professor of Analytical Chemistry and the Head of the Department of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at Lincoln University. Located in Jefferson City, Missouri.
Lincoln University is a public land-grant institution with an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 2,300 students.
The ability to obtain mercury results without the traditional sample preparation process is critical when performing comprehensive studies involving different matrices. Such is the case of Dr. Ikem’s research, which has encompassed working with samples to characterize the presence of heavy metals in the environmental studies in the Missouri area as a result of agricultural activities. Food toxicology has also been the focus of his work, having performed research on the exposure of the population to heavy metals by analyzing mercury in canned fish, dietary supplements, infant formula, among other products.


Dr. Ikem’s research laboratory performs trace metals analysis on a wide range of environmental and food samples. Mercury determination can be a challenging and time-consuming task when working with ICP-based techniques and CVAA. Direct mercury determination addresses the analysis needs for a wide array of matrices in a fast and accurate way and provides a great deal of flexibility, ideal for an academic lab.
From the customer voice:
“The DMA-80 saves time and it is highly accurate. Students can quickly learn how to use the instrumentation and connect their results to the decision-making process in environmental studies.”
Abua Ikem, Professor of Analytical Chemistry and the Head of the Department of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences - Lincoln University


The flexibility that the Milestone DMA-80 system offers allows for the processing of large quantities of samples, obtaining results in just 5 minutes per sample. With a 40-position autosampler and no acid digestion requirement, the dedicated mercury solution has enhanced Dr. Ikem’s research and allowed his lab to avoid the memory effect challenges that traditional techniques pose. Researchers at Lincoln University report excellent recoveries and use standard reference materials for the different matrices they work with. In addition to the technical benefits, students have been able take advantage of the DMA-80 to develop their analytical instrumentation skills and easily integrate their knowledge of environmental sciences into practical research.
Having published more than 12 research articles involving direct mercury analysis, the Department of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at Lincoln University acquired a new Milestone DMA-80 evo in 2019 to replace an earlier version of the system that had reliably been in use for 16 years. Purchasing a new instrument was an easy decision based on the many years of instrument reliability, service, and application support provided by Milestone. The new system will address the needs of future research and be utilized as an important teaching tool for students taking the courses Advanced Analytical Methods, Chemical Instrumentations, and Environmental Sampling and Analysis.

DMA-80 evo

The DMA-80 mercury determination system can analyze any matrix (solid, liquid or gas) without any pre-treatment or chemical additions in as few as 6 minutes in full compliance with EPA method 7473.

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"The DMA-80 saves time and it is highly accurate"
Lincoln University