How New ICP-OES Spectrometer Technologies Substantially Cut Operating Costs

Inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) is used for elemental analysis of everything from soil and sludge to water and wastewater, plus various industrial process materials. In evaluating ICP-OES instruments, environmental contract laboratories may prioritize sensitivity and speed. Industrial research laboratories may emphasize stability and analytical precision. However, both agree on the importance of controlling costs.

By SPECTRO Analytical Instruments

Problem: most ICP-OES instruments incur various operational and maintenance expenses that dramatically increase total cost of ownership. Fortunately, some newer enhancements to traditional spectrometer technologies can significantly reduce costs — while improving performance. 

The trouble with traditional ICP-OES instruments

Conventional ICP-OES designs incur up to several thousand dollars in purge gas expense annually. Expensive external chillers invite leaks, demand frequent maintenance and downtime, and may require early replacement at up to $5000 per unit. Commonly used echelleopticscan cost valuable time, as they exhibit spectral interference and stray light that make it harder to analyze line-rich spectra; display lower resolution above 300 nm; experience reduced sensitivity due to multiple reflective surfaces; suffer wavelength drift due to changing ambient pressures; and offer poorer trace concentration measurements in radial plasma view modes. Altogether, these issues can triple a lab’s cost of ownership.

Substantial savings with SPECTROBLUE

The SPECTROBLUE ICP-OES analyzer from SPECTRO Analytical Instruments surpasses conventional designs to deliver consistent, rapid — and less expensive — results. Its innovative engineering overcomes the problems outlined above, enabling high throughput with drastically lower costs of operation. 

Eliminate gas purging

Save thousands in gas purging consumablesSPECTROBLUE’s unique sealed optical system is permanently argon-filled, recirculating gas through a small purifier cartridge good for at least 2 years. The user can start and stop the instrument at will. Results: highly stable analysis and excellent low UV performance without purge waiting or delays at startup. Eliminating an estimated 600 cubic meters of purge gas per year saves up to $3800 annually. 

Eliminate external cooling

The SPECTROBLUE analyzer comes from a line of the only spectrometers that use patented integral air-cooling technology instead of costly separate chillers. So they have less need for maintenance or downtime; save higher energy costs; eliminate leaks and corrosion; are less prone to breakdown; and avoid expensive early replacement.

Save thousands more without costly, complicated coolers.

Attain strong sensitivity and stability

Save thousands more without costly, complicated coolersSPECTROBLUE utilizes a unique optics approach known as Optimized Rowland Circle Alignment (ORCA) technology, taking full advantage of 15 CCD linear array detectors and covering the wavelength range from 165 to 770 nm. It enables simultaneous capture of a sample’s complete spectrum within 4 seconds.

In all three SPECTROBLUE versions — axial, radial, or twin-interface models — ORCA optics create a direct, high-luminance optical path that limits light loss and “stray light” while maximizing spectral separation and information throughput. These and other engineering innovations improve sensitivity and stability, allow the system to more easily process line-rich spectra, boost measurement accuracy, and reduce expensive rework.

For more details, see our white paper at

SPECTRO Analytical Instruments Inc.
91 McKee Drive
Mahwah, NJ 07430 USA
+1.800.548.5809 | 

Categories: Products in Action

Published In

Run Your Lab Like A Business Magazine Issue Cover
Run Your Lab Like A Business

Published: February 6, 2015

Cover Story

Run Your Lab Like A Business

When looking at best practices for running a lab, things as seemingly diverse as staff development and retention, inventory management, procurement, and efficient use of training spends, need to be looked at together. After all, equipment is only as good as the staff who uses it and your staff is only as good as their training.

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