Peter Jenks looks back to the BERM 14 conference on biological and environmental reference materials in the Quality Matters Column. The next conference in the series returns to Europe: Berlin in June 2018.
In the Sampling Column, Kim Esbensen and Claas Wagner continue our education about representative sampling. In “Sampling quality assessment: the replication experiment”, they provide an overview of the issue of replication, which may not be as straightforward as might be expected at first.
Another surface problem is tackled by Richard Pilkington, Stuart Astin and John Cowpe: “Application of laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy for surface hardness measurements”. Measuring the hardness of materials is not entirely straightforward, and the authors show that laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy offers the potential for in situ hardness measurements, without prior sample preparation.
Frank Rutten, Jasim Jamur and Paul Roach tell us about another: “Fast and versatile ambient surface analysis by plasma-assisted desorption/ionisation mass spectrometry”. They show that surface analysis can greatly benefit from approaches using surface–plasma interactions and that PADI shows significant promise to become a valuable and versatile tool for this.
To ensure that the removal and treatment of our sewerage meets increasingly high standards, it is important to be able to monitor the water online both to provide timely information and also to establish changing patterns over days, weeks and seasons. In their article “On-line monitoring for improved wastewater system management: applications of ultraviolet/visible spectroscopy”, Rita Brito, Rita Ribeiro, Tatiana Arriaga, Catarina Leitão, Nìdia Lourenço, Filipa Ferreira and Helena Pinheiro demonstrate the value of on-line UV/vis spectroscopy for wastewater quality monitoring in decentralised wastewater treatment and for spectral on-line monitoring of key quality parameters at the inlet to wastewater treatment plants.
In the Tony Davies Column, Tony looks at “Raman imaging of difficult surfaces”. He looks at a number of different approaches to dealing with uneven samples, as well as reviewing instrumental improvements that have made Raman imaging a viable analytical and diagnostic tool.
In the Quality Matters Column, Peter Jenks, Paul Boother and Annette Marshall are concerned about “The proper use of certified reference materials for analytical instrumentation qualification”. There are many aspects to consider in ensuring the validity of an analytical system, from before any instrumentation is installed, before it is used and during its use. Readers interested in the chemicals and reference material field may be interested in the news that, as this issue was being prepared, Merck completed its $17-billion acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich.
Kim Esbensen and Claas Wagner’s Sampling Column also addresses issues around ensuring valid results, from the sampling perspective. “Composite sampling II: lot dimensionality transformation” continues to address the problem of heterogeneity and how to overcome it. If you can find a time when your bulk (3D) sample becomes a 1D sample, the job is possible. Interesting examples from unloading a grain ship to emptying a fishing boat hold are described.
- The emerging use of magnetic resonance imaging to study river bed dynamics
- Graphene characterisation and standardisation via Raman spectroscopy
- A new approach to identifying unknown trace level analytes by tandem mass spectrometry without reference spectroscopic database support: CSI:FingerID
- The analysis of poly aromatic compounds: a never-ending story?
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- Infrared spectroscopy as a tool to study plant cuticles
- Dates and fates of pyrogenic carbon: using spectroscopy to understand a “missing” global carbon sink
- Solid mixed matrices and their advantages in matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry
- The analytical niche for Raman spectroscopy in biological pigment research
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