How to Use a ‘Total Workflow’ Sample Prep Approach to Optimize Elemental Analysis

As the performance of atomic spectroscopy techniques for elemental analysis has improved over the past several decades, there has been a concurrent need for improvements in sample preparation. While the sample digestion step appropriately draws the most attention in the preparation process, there are other important steps in the sample preparation workflow that also impact the outcomes of the laboratory, some of which may be unexpected in scope and scale.

This eWorkshop presents a ‘total workflow’ approach to sample preparation and examines ways to improve key aspects of elemental analysis such as lab throughput, data quality, costs, and safety. Just as importantly, it also offers practical advice for preventing workflow disruptions, such as incomplete digestions or sample contamination, which can prevent a laboratory from meeting their overall performance, cost, and safety goals.
🔴 Several of the presentations include demonstrations of the systems and methods being discussed, including acid purification, automated reagent addition, vessel handling, microwave digestion, sample filtering, and labware cleaning.
Chapter 1

Overview of a ‘total workflow’ approach to sample prep and why it matters

This introduction of a ‘total workflow’ approach to sample preparation for elemental analysis examines not only the evolution of the pivotal microwave digestion process, but also additional steps in the workflow that are critical to meeting lab performance requirements. By optimizing these steps, laboratories are better prepared to overcome the challenges they face and avoid workflow disruptions that impede the analysis process and can have additional effects.
Chapter 2

Avoiding contamination, reducing costs, and improving safety prior to digestion

In this chapter, you will discover practical ways to prevent contamination during sample preparation for trace elemental analysis. You will learn the principles of sub-boiling distillation and how bringing acid purification in-house can result in considerable cost savings and ensure an uninterrupted analysis workflow. And lastly, this presentation shows how automating the reagent dosing process provides greater consistency, while removing the operator from exposure to harmful acid fumes and freeing them to perform safer and more value-added tasks.
Chapter 3

Automated Reagent Dosing

The reagent addition, or “dosing,” step of the sample preparation process has traditionally been a tedious and laborious task within elemental analysis labs, especially when it involves concentrated acids. easyFILL demonstrates how automating the reagent dosing process provides greater consistency, while removing the operator from exposure to harmful acid fumes and freeing them to perform safer and more value-added tasks.
Chapter 4

Rotor-based microwave digestion, vessel handling, and sample filtering

While still considered the 'workhorse' of many elemental analysis laboratories, rotor-based digestion vessels can be cumbersome to handle, and the systems can also be the weak link in a laboratory's sample prep workflow if something goes wrong. In this presentation you will learn how various aspects of rotor-based digestion vessels, systems, and accessories can work to optimize a workflow, as well as avoid disruptions such as the need to rerun samples.
Chapter 5

SRC microwave digestion and introduction of ultraWAVE 3

An overview of how Single Reaction Chamber (SRC) microwave digestion technology provides a step-change in sample prep performance and capabilities for elemental analysis is presented. In the context of workflow, SRC’s benefits include higher overall sample throughput, faster digestions for difficult samples, and reduced labor requirements. The third-generation ultraWAVE 3 elevates these benefits through a number of innovations that work together to lower the labor requirements even further, reduce the potential for contamination and operational errors, and increase the number of samples that can be digested both in a single day and over the lifetime of the system.
Chapter 6

A safer and more efficient way to clean labware for trace element analysis

Using acid baths and microwave systems for cleaning sample prep vessels and other types of labware can have a substantial impact on an elemental analysis lab’s throughput, workflow, and efficiency. In this presentation, you will learn how automating this step using acid-steam cleaning keeps your microwave system focused on digesting samples and removes the tedium and hazards of hand-cleaning labware from your staff.

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