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New Method for Ultra-Trace Se, As, and Cr in Seawater

Brooks Applied Labs recently unveiled a new method for the quantitation of selenium, arsenic, and chromium in saline waters at concentrations of 5 ng/L (that converts to 0.005 µg/L!). This new capacity to support ultra-trace detection limits for elements predominately existing as anions in saline waters (such as seawater, brackish waters, and brines) will allow our clients and the scientific community to definitively support discharge requirements and investigations for estuaries, bays, near shore and open ocean, and saline lakes. Historically, these detection limits could only be achieved by using complicated and laborious preparatory methods that have a high degree of uncertainty and rely heavily upon reaction chemistry. With this new capability to support both low-level anionic and cationic metal analyses in some of the most difficult aquatic matrices, Brooks Applied Labs is setting what is expected to be the new gold standard for analytical laboratories around the world.

Methods for the analysis ultra-trace level metals in waters with high total dissolved solids (TDS) have traditionally been segregated into two groups: those applicable to elements that are present as cations or anions in solution. Preparatory methods designed to separate the target metals from alkali earth elements (Na, K, Mg, and Ca) and their conjunctive halogen anions (chloride, bromide, sulfate) often use precipitation techniques which involve reaction chemistry. As with any chemical reaction there are constants associated the reaction efficiencies and equilibriums. Those constants can change, depending on the complexity of the sample matrix and chemical reaction, which necessitate the use of assumptions. The evolution of technology has yielded methods which use automated in-line pre-concentration techniques (column chelation) for cationic transition metals but failed to support metals present as anions, until now.

Independent research at Brooks Applied Labs has produced an automated in-line pre-concentration method which separates the anionic metals from interfering salts. The method has undergone validation confirming the support for all prevalent molecular forms of selenium, arsenic, and chromium in natural aquatic systems to eliminate assumptions regarding method performance. The inherent benefits to automated in-line pre-concentration techniques equates to fewer re-analyses, fewer assumptions, superior accuracy and precision, all at a reduced cost compared to bench scale preparation techniques.

The new analytical method Brooks Applied Labs is offering is another testament to our devotion to science, our level of understanding about how our results are applied, as well as our desire to meet the data objectives of our clients. Contact us today to identify how partnering with Brooks Applied Labs can help you meet your current and future analytical needs for regulatory compliance, ecological modeling, and other investigations associated with selenium, arsenic, and chromium.

Brooks Applied Labs is Headed Overseas!

Dr. Hakan Gürleyük, Technical Director at BAL, and Tamas Ugrai, Research Chemist, will both be presenting at the European Winter Conference on Plasma Spectrochemistry, taking place February 19 – 24 in the Austrian ski resort town of Sankt Anton am Arlberg. The Winter Conference is the premier international conference for scientists working with plasma ion sources for atomic analysis, such as ICP-MS. Hakan will be speaking on the Determination of radium in natural waters using IC-ICP-MS after on-line preconcentration, and Tamas will be presenting on Reducing the risk of inaccurate results when quantifying trace elements in seawater using ICP-QQQ-MS. BAL is committed to supporting the research and development of new analytical methods and improved techniques supporting elemental analysis. If you are interested in receiving a copy of either of these presentations, please feel free to contact us after February 24th.

In contrast to the snowy slopes of Austria, Jamie Fox, BAL Technical Sales Manager, will be attending the Waste Management Symposium (WM2017) under the sunny skies of Phoenix March 5 – 9. This annual symposium is the world’s largest and most prestigious conference on radioactive waste management and DOE site remediation. You can find BAL’s radioactive materials license here, which allows us to accept samples with low-levels of radioactivity (or diluted samples from higher level sites). Contact us if you will be attending WM2017 and would like to meet with Jamie to discuss BAL’s capabilities serving this market!

15-Year Anniversaries at Brooks Applied Labs!

We are so proud to announce that two BAL employees, Frank McFarland and Rick Manson, have reached their 15-year anniversaries with the company! As our VP of Quality, Frank oversees one of BAL’s most beloved groups – Quality Assurance. Rick has the joy of constantly asking if you’ve tried turning it off and back on (you guessed it, he’s our IT Manager). They not only help keep BAL running smoothly every day, they also help make it a fun place to work. Each December, Frank dresses up like Ebenezer Scrooge and belts out Christmas carols from his office, and at the end of the month we are all rewarded for our tolerance by receiving a CD of holiday music with songs selected by the staff and custom-curated by Frank! Rick quietly runs everything behind the scenes in a very thoughtful manner. He’s always there to lend a hand… or tell you a fun fact about guinea pigs. Sometimes computer issues can be fixed by just a loving word from Rick. They both regularly ride their bikes in to work and are members of Pedal to the Metal, the BAL bicycle team that rides in the MS Bike Ride every year. Luckily, they both started at BAL when they were young pups, so they will both be around for another 15 years! Congratulations to Frank and Rick, and thank you so much for all that you do for BAL!