Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Chemical free water determination

New chemical-free method for water determination

Lambda Advanced Technology has a new easyWater (easyH2O) analyser, designed for the specific determination of water. Applications include materials such as plastics, catalysts, pharmaceuticals, building materials and many more. The easyWater system uses a proven thermo-coulometric measurement method, providing an environmentally friendly, chemical free alternative to the Karl Fischer titration technique.

Not only does the easyWater system specifically measure water, and not other volatiles such as alcohols, oils or fats, but it can also differentiate between different binding phases ranging from free surface and capillary water to chemically bound water.  The analyser combines thermal evaporation of water with a selective, electrochemical sensor to create an innovative method of water analysis.

The water content of various materials frequently has a significant impact on the material characteristics. Examples include the injection moulding behaviour of plastics, the stability of active pharmaceutical agents or simply the actual price of raw materials.

The water is evaporated from the sample in a programmable oven and is fed to the sensor using a stream of dried ambient air as a carrier gas. This means that no expensive or toxic chemicals or carrier gases are required for operation. By varying the temperature profile of the heating program, different forms of water can be selectively evaporated and differentiated. Even strongly-bound water is released and quantified via temperature programs up to 400°C.

The coulometric sensor uses an electrochemical reaction to produce an absolute measurement and deliver reproducible, accurate results. The method is well-established and used in international standards DIN 50450-1, ASTM D 5454 and ISO 11541:1997.

The measuring cell regenerates itself and the system is permanently rinsed with dried air, ensuring the analyser is always ready for use. The entire process runs automatically under software control. All of the data, temperature programs etc. are logged in compliance with ISO and GLP and can be printed or read-in again.  

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