CHNSO elemental analyzers provide a means for the rapid determination of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and Sulphur in organic matrices and other types of materials. They are capable of handling a wide variety of sample types, including solids, liquids, volatile and viscous samples, in the fields of pharmaceuticals, polymers, chemicals, environment, food and energy.
Basic principles in the combustion process (furnace at ca. 1000oC), carbon is converted to carbon dioxide; hydrogen to water; nitrogen to nitrogen gas/ oxides of nitrogen and Sulphur to Sulphur dioxide. If other elements such as chlorine are present, they will also be converted to combustion products, such as hydrogen chloride. A variety of absorbents are used to remove these additional combustion products as well as some of the principal elements, Sulphur for example, if no determination of these additional elements is required.
Combustion elemental analyzers are manufactured in a variety of configurations to suit specific applications, and the choice will depend on the elements of interest, the sample type and size, and the concentration of the analyte. All instruments require two gas supplies: (i) an inert carrier gas (helium recommended); and (ii) high purity oxygen (minimum 99.9995%). The strict specification for oxygen is associated with the need to reduce the nitrogen 'blank' contribution to an inconsequential level. Additionally, GC-type gas filters are also usually fitted to prevent trace organic species and water entering the combustion system.
Applications of CHNSO Elemental Analyzers
CHNSO elemental analyzers have been used in analytical laboratories for over thirty years. The method is used extensively across a wide range of applications, including pharmaceuticals, chemicals, oil-related products, catalysts and food. In the oil industry, an important application is the regular monitoring of coke build-up on refinery catalysts to ensure that regeneration procedures (involving controlled burning of the carbon) are executed at optimal intervals. Since many of these catalyst systems involve large quantities of noble metals such as platinum, palladium and rhenium, mismanagement of this testing would entail serious financial losses. In food analysis, the determination of nitrogen (as a surrogate for protein) is very important for pricing grain and evaluating meat products, and is increasingly undertaken by combustion analysis