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A view of the expo floor at the Pittcon Conference
Scott D. Hanton / Lab Manager

Innovative Products Exhibited at Pittcon 2024

Editor’s choice of the new products shown at this year’s conference

Scott D. Hanton, PhD

Scott Hanton is the editorial director of Lab Manager. He spent 30 years as a research chemist, lab manager, and business leader at Air Products and Intertek. He earned...

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The Pittcon Conference & Expo has a long history of showcasing new and innovative lab products and services to the industry. The recent 75th Pittcon, held in San Diego, CA, did not disappoint. Throughout the conference, we were able to identify important new products that can help make the technical work more effective for lab scientists. Here’s a recap of some of the best new products we identified at the show.

Innovations in mass spectrometry

ExumTM has introduced the Massbox, a laser ablation–laser ionization mass spectrometer that can provide elemental and small molecule analysis of solid samples with very limited sample preparation. The instrument uses an ultrafast 213 nm laser for ablation and a 266 nm laser for non-resonant ionization. The instrument can deliver between 1,000 and 4,000 mass resolution and ion mapping at 5-20 µm lateral resolution. It is designed for complex nonvolatile materials analysis.

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Shimadzu has introduced the ICPMS-2040/2050 inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometers (ICPMS). These instruments feature lower operational costs by reducing the required purity of Ar gas (99.95 percent), reducing Ar usage with a new mini-torch design (only 11 L per minute), and increasing throughput with improved purging and rinsing capabilities. 

Shimadzu also introduced the GCMS-QP2050, a new gas chromatography mass spectrometer (GC-MS). The system features a more compact design, an improved ion source that is simple to remove and clean, and high scan speeds of 30,000 D per second. It comes ready to receive alternate carrier gases, especially hydrogen. This mass spectrometer can be configured with the new GC-2050 gas chromatograph which has a smaller footprint and reduces energy consumption by 30 percent.

Innovations in training

ASTM International has introduced an innovative eLearning course that integrates traditional training, interactive animation, and virtual reality (VR). The true benefit of this approach is combining different learning styles and allowing learners to practice in a virtual laboratory using computers or VR headsets. Athena Huss, ASTM's manager of OnDemand Solutions, explains, “This approach is new for standards-based training. We hope it will bring technical content to life in a new way and engage the next generation in lab work.” This product will help reduce both the time and cost associated with onboarding and training. 

Innovations in spectroscopy

Foss introduced the MicralTM, a new laser induced breakdown spectroscopy instrument. It is designed to provide rapid and low operational cost elemental analysis. The sample preparation is simple, requiring only a pellet. It delivers high throughput and can analyze hundreds of samples per day at only about $1 per sample of operational cost.

Shimadzu has introduced the IRSpirit-X series compact Fourier transform infrared spectrometer. This instrument has a compact footprint to save bench space, comes with a 10-year parts warranty, and can accommodate a wide range of accessories. It comes with the IR Pilot software, enabling effective use from a wide range of users. It has different models for different users, including those needing high sensitivity or those working in high humidity environments. 

Innovations in polymer and material analysis

Bettersize has introduced the BeNano DLS Flow Mode instrument. It can be integrated with separations instruments like gel permeation chromatography, size exclusion chromatography, or field-flow fractionation to provide high resolution analysis of the eluents. This instrument brings the power of dynamic light scattering (DLS) and static light scattering (SLS) to these separation experiments. The DLS measures the particle size from nm to µm and the SLS measures the polymer molecular mass distribution providing MN, MW, and MZ. Combining these measurements yields the particle density.

Micromeritics has introduced the Accupyc gas pycnometer to measure the solid density of complex materials, including powders, particles, porous, and irregularly shaped samples. The new design enables measurements to be completed 25 percent faster and with increased accuracy of 0.02 percent. The instrument delivers a wide analysis temperature range from 4-60 C. 

Polymer Char has introduced the IVA Versa to measure polymer intrinsic viscosity at ambient temperatures. They have adapted their previous instrument optimized for the high temperatures needed for polyolefins to work for many other types of polymers. This instrument is fully automated, runs at 20-45 C and requires no calculation. In addition, it can dissolve samples at higher temperatures to ensure full dissolution, and then run the analysis in the ambient range.

Innovations in water analysis

Analytik Jena has introduced the multi N/C Series analyzers for total organic carbon and TNb determinations. These instruments are designed to address different environments and needs including surface water, wastewater, and high purity water for semiconductor or pharmaceutical applications. They can contribute to all-around performance, small sample sizes or trace detection needs. They are easy to operate with annual calibration and new software that includes self-checks. 

These new instruments will improve the ways that labs can use ICP-MS, GC-MS, FTIR, and other analytical techniques to solve complex research challenges. Hopefully, some of these new products will help to improve the performance of your lab.