Articles

Integrated analytical techniques for the characterisation of environmental particles

X-ray-22_5-sInformation on the detailed chemical composition, structure and ­morphology of environmental particles, and ­especially airborne particulate matter (PM), ­facilitate the understanding of their reactivity, sources, transport and changes of chemical species and, hence, prediction of their likely impact on the ­environment and human and animal health. The analysis techniques for environmental particles can broadly be divided into two groups: bulk (for example, water-soluble ionic content by means of ion ­chromatography for PM, ­elemental concentrations by means of X-ray ­fluorescence spectro­metry for all ­environmental particles, chemical structural information by means of X-ray diffraction for larger ­environmental ­particles, such as sediments and sands etc.) and micro-­analytical techniques, whereby the character of any single particle can be probed.

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Using inductively-coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy to optimise the analysis of trace elements in gasoline

ICP-22_5-sThe presence of trace elements in gasoline can lead to a number of detrimental effects both on the automobile engine using the fuel as well as the environment. Trace elements can dramatically decrease engine performance by negatively impacting the operation of the engine’s electronic sensors that control the combustion process. Additionally, environmental pollution occurs when trace elements are transported from the engine to the environment via emissions. The analysis of these elements is therefore crucial to ensure that the performance of the engine is not affected by the fuel and that environmental damage does not occur when trace elements are released from the engine via emissions. This article discusses how modern inductively-coupled plasma (ICP) technology surpasses the performance of traditionally used atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) techniques to ensure optimal fuel quality.

Read more: Using inductively-coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy to optimise the analysis of trace elements in gasoline

   

The delicacy and beauty of two great rivers

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Bill-George-Fig-1-sSpectroscopy is the measurement of the interaction of radiation with matter before or after spectral dispersion. This has been studied variously by physicists and chemists, has wide applications outside these traditional disciplines and cannot be owned by any particular community. The subject embraces both science (including mathematics) and technology (including computing) and contains many examples of differences, not always understood, between these cultures. It illustrates the unchanging and universal character of the relevant science, which is increasingly revealed by advances in the relevant technology.

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Selected ion flow tube mass spectrometry, SIFT-MS; new horizons in real time air and breath analysis

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SIFT-MS-22_4-sWe conceive selected ion flow tube mass spectrometry, SIFT-MS, primarily as a real-time, absolute, analytical technique that can meet the challenge of the immediate analysis of humid exhaled breath for rapid clinical diagnosis and therapeutic monitoring. This objective has certainly been achieved and the application of SIFT-MS has quickly been expanded into many other areas where real time, immediate analyses of trace compounds in air are desired, as we have demonstrated in recent reviews and which we summarise at the end of this article.

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Revealing the presence of creatine in human spinal cord in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, by infrared microspectroscopy

IR-22_4-sWe have previously investigated the topographic and quantitative changes in the distribution of trace metals in spinal cords from ALS and control patients. X-ray fluorescence microscopy was used to investigate their metallic nature and distribution in single nerve cells. A deeper understanding of the neurodegenerative processes in ALS requires focus on the biochemical changes occurring in nervous tissue of such a disorder. For this purpose, we have undertaken an infrared microspectroscopy study. While metals are suggested to play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of ALS, they typically do not occur in tissues as free ions. This results in the presence of the complex mechanisms of metal ions buffering that protect cells against their toxic effects. Metal homeostasis is regulated by several proteins. Such proteins containing metal cofactor are called metalloproteins.

Read more: Revealing the presence of creatine in human spinal cord in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, by infrared microspectroscopy

   

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