Thermo Fisher analyzer checks brine at biorefinery |

Thermo Fisher analyzer checks brine at biorefinery

Thermo Fisher analyzer checks brine at biorefinery
April 30, 2009 – Borregaard, the world's leading supplier of wood-based chemicals, uses the Thermo Scientific iCAP 6000 Series Duo ICP emission spectrometer for the detection of trace contaminants in brine - aqueous sodium chloride (NaCl). The iCAP 6000 Series helps Borregaard accurately measure the trace element content of NaCl produced on site, ensuring detection limits are within range. Detailed information can be found in a new application note entitled “Environmental Series – Trace contaminant analysis in brine using an iCAP 6000 Series Duo ICP,” which is available to download via the literature library.

Borregaard's core business is based on a biorefinery that manufactures wood-based products. The company also produces caustic soda and hydrochloric acid for internal use and for sale to external customers. The company’s old mercury cell electrolysis plant was replaced by a modern, environmentally friendly membrane cell electrolysis plant, with the caustic soda produced being used in Borregaard's own factories, while the chlorine is processed into hydrochloric acid. During this process Borregaard sought an ICP instrument that would be sufficiently fast and powerful to allow quick and rapid screening of the NaCl produced on site.

The analysis of demanding environmental matrices, such as strongly concentrated salt solutions, can often pose analytical challenges due to the high matrix content and low trace elemental contaminant requirements. For Borregaard one of the critical parameters of the caustic soda and chlorine production processes is the purity of the feed brine, with respect to the concentrations of calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg). The sum of these two elements must be less than 20 ìg/L in 30 % NaCl. Borregaard needed a rugged, reliable ICP that would cope with the online analysis of the NaCl produced on site day in, day out and that would help ensure the purity of the feed brine. The iCAP ensures that the critical elements (Ca and Mg) are well within range for both the in-house and the external brine sample detection limit, which will allow for their easy analysis below these required levels.

The analysis of challenging sample matrices such as brines can be achieved easily using ICP instrumentation, enabling long term analyses without loss of sensitivity or clogging of the system. The iCAP 6000 has been designed to achieve excellent long term stability thanks to the precision regulated spectrometer and active wavelength control. The iCAP 6000 provides users with a robust, swing frequency RF for trace analysis in the presence of heavy matrices. A core part of any ICP spectrometer is the detector, and the iCAP 6000 series’ unique RACID86 fourth generation Charge Injection Device (CID) detector offers several unique benefits. Able to perform non-destructive readout, this detector allows high intensity signals to be read very rapidly while lower intensity signals are accumulated over a longer time, ensuring optimum signal to noise and resistance to saturation.

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