SYNLAB improves productivity and detection limits thanks to ultraWAVE



SYNLAB is one of the largest service laboratories in Europe and the largest laboratory service provider for clinics, hospitals and the pharmaceutical industry.
In 2017, SYNLAB acquired ALcontrol Group, a major European provider of environmental testing services. This allowed SYNLAB to expand to the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and into markets that were highly complementary to the Group’s main focus. ALcontrol had expertise in the field of environmental analysis, including testing for the clean-up and monitoring of soil, ground and drinking water, food and consumer health, oil, fuel and asbestos.
SYNLAB now has laboratories in four different locations in Sweden.


They analyze approximately 240,000 environmental samples per year that include dirty water samples such as industrial waste water, municipal sewage waters, groundwaters and biological samples. The laboratory originally used a traditional rotor-based microwave digestion system and block digestion units.
With conventional microwave systems, it was not possible to achieve the high throughput requested by daily assignments. The limitation of the rotor-based technique was mainly due to the number of samples they had to process through the system, causing a severe bottleneck in their work flow.
Another limitation was the handling related to opening and closing of the vessels, which was time consuming and stressful for the operator.
We have improved our capacity from 80 samples per day to 140-160 samples per day.
Msc Christian Magnusson, Technical Expert, SYNLAB Linköping
  • Synlab


Since 2014, we have invested in multiple ultraWAVE units to help reduce our sample prep bottleneck. These systems have exceeded our expectations, increasing the sample digestion capacity of our laboratory by 100%, while reducing costs and significantly improving digestion quality.
Before the ultraWAVE adoption, they needed to transfer the digested solution from the PTFE digestion tube to a plastic bottle after the completion of digestion, and from that bottle to a tube onto the autosampler. Instead, the digestion tubes now fit perfectly into the ICP-MS and ICP-OES autosamplers, avoiding any transfer. In other words, they were drawn to the ultraWAVE’s improved workflow capacity and ease of use.
“We also have a traceCLEAN acid steam cleaning system. It helps us in cleaning all our quartz and teflon tubes. We also clean other glassware such as spray chambers and torches for ICP-OES/MS.”


The ultraWAVE is based on the SRC (Single Reaction Chamber) technology, that achieves extraordinary performance capabilities combining microwave heating with a high-pressure reactor which acts simultaneously as microwave cavity and vessel.

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The ultraWAVE system has transformed the workflow of Linköping’s Laboratory by doubling its sample throughput. The system fully matched their expectations because of its ease of use and high productivity capacity: “We are very happy with the technique we adopted.”