Technique selection

Where time permits, MAGU staff will provide advice and help you select the most suitable available technique for the analytical work you may require. We strongly recommend, however, that you avail yourself of the relevant training programmes available within the School and other Schools with the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences.

Typical applications

The table below shows typical applications of major techniques available – capabilities however do extend beyond the commonly analysed analyes and media listed.

Note: TDS = total dissolved solids.

Instrument Media Typical Analytes Typical Routine Detection Limits Typical Sample Required Comments
Rock/ soil/ biological media digests
Na,K,Ca,Mg, Ba,Sr, Fe, Mn, As, P,S, Si, Cu, Zn, Pb 0.1 – 1 mg/L 10 mL in 2 % HNO3
Maximum TDS 1 %

Workhorse for determining major cationic components in waters or digests

Key Contact: Paul Lythgoe

ICPMS Water;
Biological media digests
Transition metals including Cu, Zn, Mo, Cr, Co; Pb, Pt, U, Pu, Ba, As 0.001 – 0.01 mg/L 10 mL in 2 % HNO3
Maximum TDS 0.1 %

Trace element determinations in waters;

Key Contact: Paul Lythgoe

Biological media digests
As, Se, Cr species 0.001 – 0.01 mg/L 1 mL Key Contact: Paul Lythgoe
IC Water Cl-, SO4--, NO3-, NO2-, Br, Ac-, VFAs 0.01 – 0.1 mg/L 2 mL; not acidified Anionic components other than HCO3-, CO3


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