When in the lab I always try to streamline and improve workflows. One of the biggest bottlenecks in the lab I’ve experienced and maybe you have too, is the drying of sample extracts. When extracting environmental samples, they likely have residual water. Removing water from environmental samples ensures you will get the most accurate and consistent results with both analytical and gravimetric methods. The drying of extracts can be either defined by the method or may have flexibility allowing you to use what is available as long as all quality control criteria are satisfied.
Continue reading A New Time Saving Inline Drying Solution for Method 1664B
It is that time of year again when laboratories are fulfilling accreditation requirements for the methods that they offer. One of the requirements that must be met for each method is called proficiency testing (PT). If you are not familiar with proficiency testing, it is a sample purchased from an approved vendor to evaluate the ability of a lab to meet the acceptance criteria of the method. If the labs’ results are out of the PT samples acceptance criteria, they can redo the testing.
Continue reading Are Your Proficiency Testing Results Failing for EPA Method 1664 with SPE?
On the surface, EPA Method 1664B seems pretty straightforward – use n-hexane to extract compounds (commonly referred to as “oil and grease”) from an acidified water sample. Evaporate the hexane from the extract, weigh the residue that gets left behind, and report that weight in terms of a concentration (often as mg/L of HEM). Yet many laboratories have found themselves looking at data which indicates that their spikes aren’t being recovered at levels that are compliant with the method. Unfortunately, there are a few details in the method that can cause trouble, regardless of whether you are extracting your samples using liquid-liquid extraction (LLE) or solid phase extraction (SPE). Keep reading for some tips to improve your analyte recoveries when doing oil and grease extractions.
Continue reading Tips for Improving Your Oil & Grease Recoveries
If you are unfamiliar with terms like “fatberg” and “FOG,” you might not realize the significance and environmental ramifications of this phenomenon. Your perspective will change if you look through recent news articles where fatbergs have blocked and damaged sewer systems in major cities.
Photo credit: Thames Water
Continue reading Fats, Oils and Grease, Oh My!