Heavy Metals Analysis via ICP-OES

By 24th February 2020analytical
Heavy Metals Analysis

Fertilisers from Industrial Composting: Heavy Metals Analysis via ICP-OES

Paper-based products used mainly in packaging, books/newspaper, stationary and even with in the banknote industries can be easily recycled or sent for industrial or home composting.  A good recent example is the recent decision of the Bank of England to destroy £40bn-worth of paper banknotes and replace them with them £20 notes made of polymer.  In total around two billion paper notes will be withdrawn and composted.

Under controlled conditions, paper is a potent source of carbon for a compost and by blending it with other nitrogen-rich waste can be eventually used as nutrient-rich fertiliser (PAS100 and/or PAS110).  These controlled conditions are mainly the temperature-environment and the quality of the input waste.  In order to yield quality fertiliser safe for food crops, the input material should be free from any harmful substances such as fire retardants, colorants and other chemicals usually present in paper and packaging.

As a result, regular testing and screening of the input waste as well as the resulted fertiliser should be carried out.  Tests include acidity (PH), volatile content as well as toxicity analysis.  One the most important methods of toxicity is the use of the inductive coupled plasma – optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES) for heavy metals analysis.

Why is ICP-OES used in Heavy Metals Analysis?

ICP-OES is the most accurate elemental analysis technique used to reveal the presence of any harmful heavy metals such as cadmium, mercury, lead etc. Toxicity analysis and heavy metals analysis via ICP-OES in soil, waste, solids and other samples is internationally standardised under European regulations (ECHA) and Environmental protection agency directions (EPA200.7, EPA3051.a), etc.

Heavy Metals Analysis - ICP-OES Equipment

Given the importance of this heavy metals analysis and the stronger focus on supporting the circular economy, Impact has invested almost quarter of a million pounds in expanding to toxicity and other analytical tests.  We have purchased a state-of-the-art ICP-OES unit from Agilent in order provide with quality and accredited test reports on heavy metal analysis. On top of this, Impact has also purchased a latest technology microwave digestion unit from Analytix to minimise sample preparation and keeps the costs off as low as possible.

For any further information regarding our newly expanded analytical services please get in touch and our qualified Chemists will come back to with the right testing for your application.