New elemental analyzer speeds up results for FPInnovations researchers

Lab technician placing sample on the elemental analyzerThe acquisition of a new CHNS/O elemental analyzer by FPInnovations is a gamer changer for its researchers, allowing them to complete more analyses in less time, and adapt their research to the results sooner.

The elemental analyzer features two independent analytical systems that allow researchers to switch the analysis from the CHNS (carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen sulphur) to the O (oxygen) channel or vice versa, increasing the analysis throughput. This eliminates the downtime and cost of switching between modes. A total organic carbon (TOC) analysis kit was also added to the instrument to expand its analytical capabilities.close up of alemental analyzer

Researchers use the instrument to look at the CHNS/O content in a wide range of sample materials, such as biomass, lignin and cellulose nanocrystals (CNC).

“Results used to take a few weeks or even a month to receive from outside service providers because turnover time is highly dependant on their backlog,” says Carole Fraschini, a bioproducts researcher. “Our results are now available as soon as the analysis is complete, which is helping us make critical decisions promptly, such as redirecting our research and testing different formulations.”

The instrument’s purchase is also a tangible benefit that has emerged from a company-wide brainstorming meeting held last winter and demonstrates a case of colleagues from different sectors in different offices working collaboratively towards a common goal.

“We brought colleagues together and got people to talk and assess our needs,” says Serge Genest, manager of technical services.

Opening a door to a new service

Genest says FPInnovations will recoup its investment in less than a year. Not only will the instrument spare the company the recurring expense of outsourcing elemental analyses and generate quicker results, but it has also opened a door to a new revenue-generating service.

Potential external clients have begun inquiring about switching their elemental analyses needs to FPInnovations, which has already signed its first client. Genest foresees a greater demand for elemental analyses in the next few years and the company is well placed to meet the demand.

For more information about FPInnovations’ technical services, please contact Serge Genest.

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