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NMI expands ChemCentre’s analytical capabilities

NMI expands ChemCentre’s analytical capabilities

Date Published: 28-Jul-17

ChemCentre’s analytical capabilities have been expanded by the incorporation of the National Measurement Institute’s (NMI) WA-based Analytical Services facility into its structure.
NMI’s staff and equipment transitioned to ChemCentre on 1 May this year, in a move that has enabled considerable improvement in the range and timeliness of services offered to clients.

ChemCentre Environmental Chemistry Team Leader Geoff Firns, who previously worked with NMI, said capacity in some areas had doubled, while in other areas, completely new tests have been added to the range of services offered.

“NMI and ChemCentre had a lot of similar equipment, so there is some expansion of existing services,” he said. “This is the case with nutrient analysis, mercury (Hg) analysis, and Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) testing for example.”

“This works very favourably for clients needing a rapid turnaround of samples, such as industry requiring regular results for adjustment of a wastewater treatment plant, or when a large number of samples are coming through from one site in a short time period, as can happen when there is an ongoing contamination problem.”

“The additional staff and instrument automation for the routine is important, but NMI’s high-end equipment complements ChemCentre’s already impressive list of services and places us well to respond to future Government or industry problems or projects. It also means we have back-ups in the event of instrument breakdown, so we can provide a very robust and dependable service.”

“Clients will also benefit from having the combined capabilities of ChemCentre and NMI in one location because in the past it was sometimes necessary to courier samples between the two organisations to obtain a full suite of tests. Having all the capabilities in the one laboratory will save time and expense.

“There are also new capabilities in inorganic chemistry that the NMI acquisition has brought to ChemCentre. These include a suite of tests used on water samples including COD, chlorophyll and total phenols to name a few.

The list of new capabilities also includes oxyanions (disinfection byproducts and precursors) chlorite, bromate, chlorate, bromide (low level), iodide (low level), and perchlorate for drinking water and bottled water suppliers. A new Ion chromatograph mass spectrometer will be installed shortly. “It’s one of the few commercially available IC-MS in Australia and was acquired by NMI just before the transition but due to the pending move, was never installed there,” Geoff said. “Its installation at ChemCentre will give increased confidence in results when testing for trace contaminants in water and may open up new areas of testing.”

For further information contact Geoff Firns, ChemCentre, phone 9422 9987
New analytical services available:
  • Chlorophyll a, b, c & pheophytin
  • COD
  • Oxyanions (disinfection byproducts and precursors) chlorite, bromate, chlorate, bromide (low level), iodide (low level), perchlorate
  • Spocas /Chromium Suite/AVS (Acid sulphate soils)
  • Total phenols (distillation/colorimetric method)
  • NH3/TKN (with distillation for difficult matrix samples)
  • Turbidity (IR detection)
  • Nutrients – NH3, NOx, PO4, Si, TN, TP, organic N & P dissolved and total in water (colorimetric method SFA)
  • DOC/TOC/NPOC/IC in water (combustion and wet-oxidation instruments)
  • Chlorine - free and total (electrochemical method and low range Nessler tube)
  • Chromium 6+ (soils)
  • Free cyanide (colorimetric method)
  • IC-MS (to be installed shortly)
  • Fe2+, Cr6+, acidity
  • DA, Hg analyser, BOD etc
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