The EU Water Framework Directive: Analytical Challenges for Trace Element Measurement in Variable Matrix Samples

This presentation was recorded on March 25, 2015.


The European Union Water Framework Directive (WFD) describes the requirements for ensuring water quality with respect to a range of organic and elemental contaminants in rivers, lakes, groundwater and coastal beaches across the European Union.

The low detection levels for the elemental contaminants listed in the WFD necessitate use of ICP-MS technology. The samples that require testing have widely varying matrix concentrations and often contain suspended particles, which, for ICP-MS, can drive internal standard recoveries out of their acceptable ranges and cause sample introduction blockages and signal drift. The only practical solution to this is filtration followed by dilution with appropriate dilution factors to ensure that detection limits can be met in each sample type. On top of this, samples that contain analytes that exceed the calibration range even after dilution need to be identified post run and re-analyzed after further dilution. Consistent sample preparation is therefore a key requirement in ensuring good data quality and maintaining fast sample turnaround times. Diluting samples off-line is costly, time consuming and labor intensive, and can cause inconsistent results, so an alternative more efficient approach is required.

During this web seminar, we will discuss the application and benefits of an intelligent on-line autodilution system for rapid and efficient analysis of challenging samples in accordance with the trace element requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive.


Paul Gribble
Technical Development Program Manager
ALcontrol Laboratories

Simon Nelms, Ph.D.
Regional Marketing Manager – Europe
Trace Elemental Analysis

Laura Bush
Editorial Director
Spectroscopy Magazine

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