Leading Analytical Instrumentation

Automated Wetchem system for fertilizer analysis

The automated “Wetchem System characteristics can be described briefly as «untreated sample in, validated result out», as well as the possibility of carrying out several analysis methods.

Customer Application Report: Automated WetChem System

Multi-species determination for fertilizer

In close cooperation with Metrohm the Belgian Nucomat has developed an automated Wetchem system for the analysis of fertilizer samples.

The system allows multi-species determination (about 10 different species) and also carries out the complete sample preparation procedure, which is particularly worth mentioning.

Sample preparation for wet-chemistry instrumental analysis methods still remains tedious and labor-intensive even in modern laboratories if it has to be carried out manually.

Outstanding features of the system are, amongst others:

  • Sampling and sample preparation of liquid and solid samples
  • Several reagent addition possibilities
  • Classical «hotplate» digestion
  • Making up the sample to a given volume by weighing (making to mass)
  • Checking the instrument calibration by control measurements
  • Integrated quality control
  • Automatic system restart after power failure
  • Closed-looplabwareutilization(e.g.glassbeakers)withbuilt-inwashingstation
  • Ion chromatography and titration as analysis methods
  • Sample preparation for ICP-AES spectroscopy
  • LIMS compatibility

The Wetchem system analyzes liquids, suspensions, solid fertilizer granules or already ground powder samples.

In addition to the Metrohm ion chromatographs, a titrator is also incorporated in the Wetchem system. In this way, the system described above can be used to determine the following species and parameters:

K2O, P2O5, total nitrogen content, nitrogen as ammonium (NH4+), nitrogen as nitrate (NO3–), CaO, MgO, strontium, sulfate (SO42 –), chloride (all these substances by ion chromatography; Fig. 7 and 8); pH (using a pH electrode), free acid (titration with NaOH solution and a pH electrode) as well as B, Al, Fe, Cu, Zn, Cr, Ni, Cd, Mn (manual determination using an ICP-AES instrument).

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