Prime Scientific - Tips to Maintain Your Atomic Absorption System

By taking care to always maintaining your atomic absorption system, you can work on your daily analyzes without suffering from sudden malfunctions and downtimes that affect your workflow in the lab

 · 2 min read

The atomic absorption is one of the basic pillars in the elemental chemical analysis lab, and an important and indispensable analytical stage in the analysis processes. It is also an important investment that must be preserved. Therefore, as a device user, you can perform some of the preventive maintenance tasks described below, to protect the device from sudden breakdowns, which can sometimes be very costly:

The Spray Chamber

After ignition and during analysis, care must be taken to:

  1. Draw the Blank solution to wash the chamber after the samples with high concentration, for 7-10 seconds.
  2. Draw the Blank solution after completing the analysis of the samples for 5 minutes.
  3. Draw a 1% solution of nitric acid for 5-10 minutes after removing the Blank.
  4. In the case of analyzing organic compounds, a 70-80% ethanol solution can be sucked after nitric for 5 minutes, then dismantle the chamber and its various parts, empty the water diaphragm, and then put all the parts inside a fume cupboard for several hours (6-10 hours) until the remaining traces of the organic compound evaporate.

The Nebulizer

Usually, following the above spray chamber maintenance instructions can be sufficient to maintain the nebulizer, but the steps below can be done to increase its efficiency:

  1. At the beginning of each week, draw 10ml of distilled water from a measuring cylinder to calculate the rate of suction, and record it to follow the performance of the nebulizer.
  2. If the rate drops, it could be due to the presence of sediment or impurities in the sample tube, the tube can be replaced and the process retried.
  3. If the rate does not rise, the sediment can be removed either by drawing out 1% nitric acid, using a capillary cleaner wire, or loosening the tip of the nebulizer, and soaking it in a 5% nitric acid solution for about 3 hours.

Additional Tips

  1. At the beginning of each week, the performance of the device can be reviewed in general by drawing standard copper solution at a concentration of 5 ppm, and recording the result on a weekly basis to monitor the performance.
  2. Cleaning external surfaces and preventing dust or dirt from reaching the device. Especially the wetted parts.
  3. The device shall not be operated without the fumes extractor on top of the device flame chamber, whilw also ensuring the room air conditioning system is operating satisfactorily.
  4. The appliance shall not be operated without a UPS and the it must be connected to an earthing protection system.

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