Industry News: Analytical techniques for water testing help a Korean environmental research center improve water quality

04 Apr 2022

The National Environmental Research Institute of South Korea has four research centers, each dedicated to one of the four major Korean rivers: Han, Nakdong, Keum and Yeongsan. For these four major rivers, the missions of the research center are to prevent water pollution, improve water quality and preserve aquatic systems.

The Nakdong Research Center was looking for versatile and automated equipment for a number of routine analyses, and selected two technologies offered by KPM Analtyics from their AMS Alliance product line. These solutions were chosen because "the use of these two complementary techniques have provided maximum efficiency for our laboratory," explains Professor Heo Seong-Nam, the center's senior research scientist.

Method used / Response provided:

The laboratory of the Nakdong River Research Center is equipped with a wide range of analytical equipment, selected according to the nature of the analyses to be performed. It is mainly equipped with the AMS Alliance brand of materials:

  • A Futura 2 channels set (continuous flow technology) for the analysis of total nitrogen and total phosphorus;
  • A Futura 3 channel system for the analysis of phenols, cyanides and detergents;
  • A Smartchem 200 (sequential technology) for the analysis of nitrates, nitrites and phosphates.

The total volume of analyses is on average 200 to 300 samples per week (800 to 1200 samples per month). The laboratory focuses on river and lake water (80%), but also on groundwater (10%) and wastewater (10%).

Each technique has its advantages

"We needed reliable, fast, easy-to-use equipment with automated procedures. For example, for phenols, cyanides, total nitrogen and total phosphorus, it is not easy to perform the analyses manually. Pre-treatment operations are complicated and can lead to operator errors. Moreover, they require a lot of time and work. Therefore, in order to obtain better productivity and satisfactory results, it was necessary to choose automatic equipment. In addition, water analysis standards in Korea are very strict," explains Professor Heo Seong-Nam.

"The advantage of the AMS Alliance instruments are that they offer automation in each of the techniques. And since both the Futura and the Smartchem met our high standards, that was another good reason. Since their installation, we have been able to see their efficiency in the laboratory, which confirms our choice. In particular, the Smartchem 200's cell quality assurance system allows us to define the analysis priorities for each cell ourselves. It can thus work all night without an operator. 

In the near future, it is planned to use these automated analyzers on other parameters such as fluorides (with distillation), hexavalent chromium and sulfates.

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