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Using Microwave Sample Prep to Determine Trace Metals Analysis in Environmental Matrices

Demand for trace metals analysis in the environmental laboratory is growing strongly due to stricter  environmental regulations. ICP has previously been the standard for metals analysis, but as demand for lower detection levels grows, labs are experiencing a significant transition to ICP-MS. This transition is placing increased emphasis on the sample preparation method.

by Milestone

Market Demand

Traditional sample preparation techniques for environmental matrices include hot block digestion, closed-vessel microwave digestion, and ashing; all which include different challenges. Hot block digestions suffer from long run times, airborne contamination, poor digestion quality, and poor recovery of volatile compounds.

The Milestone Ethos UP featuring the Maxi-44 High Throughput RotorClosed-vessel microwave digestion has proven to be an effective alternative with fast, complete digestions, a clean environment, and full recovery of volatile compounds. Closed-vessel microwave digestion is now included in the U.S. EPA official sample preparation methods for most environmental samples.

Ethos UP Technology is Perfectly Designed for the Following Methods:

  • EPA 3015: Microwave assisted acid digestion of aqueous samples and extracts.
  • EPA 3051: Microwave assisted acid digestion of sediments, sludges, soils and oils.
  • EPA 3052: Microwave assisted acid digestion of siliceous and organically based matrices.

The Milestone Ethos UP matches the main requirements of many environmental labs, thanks to its unique benefits:

  • High throughput to increase productivity
  • Flexibility to digest a variety of matrices
  • Intuitive software
  • Industry leading safety

The Milestone Ethos UP is a very flexible and high performing platform used for trace elements and routine analysis in environmental labs. It is available with multiple configurations, such as the SK-15 high pressure rotor and MAXI-44 high throughput rotor. The SK-15 and the MAXI-44 work with the Milestone “vent-and-reseal” technology for controlling and limiting the internal pressure of each vessel. Due to the higher sample capacity, the SK-15 rotor offers 30 - 90% higher productivity than any other high pressure rotor on the market.

User Interface

The Ethos UP is controlled via a compact terminal with an easy to read, full - colour, touchscreen display.

The terminal runs a completely new user-friendly, icon-driven, multi-language software to provide easy control of the microwave run. The SafeVIEW digital camera allows the chemist to see the video of the entire digestion run in real time.

SK-15 High Pressure Rotor

The SK-15 rotor perfectly matches the environmental lab’s needs to determine trace elements, thanks to its capability to digest large sample amounts and its high temperature (300C) and pressure (100 bar) capabilities. The 15 position high-pressure rotor is safely controlled by a direct temperature sensor that consistently controls the digestion temperature during the run, ensuring complete and reproducible digestions of even the most difficult and reactive samples.

MAXI-44 High Throughput Rotor

The MAXI-44 is a high throughput rotor capable of digesting a large variety of environmental samples. The Maxi-44 rotor is fully controlled by contact-less sensors that directly control the temperature and pressure of each vessel. The Maxi-44 assures maximum safety and digestion quality, while greatly improving throughput for the environmental laboratory.

The Milestone Ethos UP Connect is a complimentary iPad tool and it contains a library of applications and other resources to help you with new environmental projects.  
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