C&EN Whitepaper
Elemental & Isotopic Analysis of Glass Fiber Filters Loaded with Particulate Matter
Brought to you by Elementar Americas

When scientists are interested in the elemental and isotopic composition of particulate matter in natural waters or in the air, they use a glass or quartz fiber filter to collect this particulate matter. Subsequently, the filter is combusted using a CHNS elemental analyzer. Filter samples are distinct from other samples commonly analyzed by elemental analyzers. They are very voluminous (especially 47 mm filters) and produce a lot of ash. Oftentimes, the filters are loaded with sample material containing only very low elemental concentrations, making the removal of the ambient air blank very important. Taking these considerations into account, Elementar offers a modified version of its newest CHNS+O+Cl elemental analyzer - the UNICUBE, which is optimized for the analysis of particulate matter on glass fiber filters. This analyzer is already being used by many oceanographers, with some even performing shipboard measurements!

Key Objectives:
  • Learn how to minimize the analytical blank for trace elemental analysis
  • Understand capacity for analysis of big samples (e.g., 47 mm filters)
  • Discover crucial adjustments for saline samples
  • Learn about oceanographers conducting shipboard filter analysis

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Elemental & Isotopic Analysis of Glass Fiber Filters Loaded with Particulate Matter
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