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  • Ocean-going Lab puts Nutrient Analyser to the Real Test

Ocean-going Lab puts Nutrient Analyser to the Real Test

Jul 20 2017 Read 679 Times

The UK’s National Oceanography Centre (NOC) undertakes integrated ocean research and technology development from the coast to the deep ocean. As such, the NOC has a heavy requirement for seawater analysis. However, in addition to analytical work at the NOC’s facilities in Southampton and Liverpool, the organisation's researchers also need to be able to analyse samples on board a variety of research vessels. Under these conditions, high levels of precision and reliability can be a challenge for most laboratory equipment, so NOC has invested in Seal Analytical segmented flow analysers (SFAs) - the AA3 and the QuAAtro.

“The QuAAtro is the workhorse of our Southampton laboratory,” said the NOC’s Dr Sinhue Torres-Valdes. “It has a compact footprint and provides automatic analysis of large numbers of samples, with only small sample volumes required. The AA3 is employed for ‘on-ship’ analysis because as a modular SFA it is easier to maintain in the event of any problems whilst away from shore.”

The Seal analysers provide low detection limits with excellent reproducibility. At first they were employed to measure nitrate+nitrite, nitrite, silicate, ammonium and total dissolved nitrogen. However, the NOC also needs to be able to analyse total dissolved phosphorus, so Seal’s technical support staff have worked with the NOC to adapt a freshwater total phosphorous method to meet the NOC’s needs. “The development of this new method took years to refine, but we have been delighted with the result,” Sinhue said.

The advantages of using the Seal SFA instruments at sea are explained in a brief video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVkfc1AJYAE

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