Project Details Trace elements analysis: role of grain size distribution in solid reference materials

Project No.:
2005-035-2-500
Start Date:
01 July 2006
End Date:
25 November 2017
Division Name:
Analytical Chemistry Division
Division No.:
500

Objective

Generally, solid reference materials (RM) of the same matrix from different producers can present different particles size distributions and this could affect the homogeneity of the material and the minimum representative sample required for trace elements analysis. The final aim of the proposed project is to develop a guide to be used by reference materials producers and by the analytical community to select the most appropriate particle size distribution of a considered reference material to fit the analytical needs.

Description

The existing guidelines for Reference Material (RM) producers do not report any indication for the selection of the most appropriate particle size distribution during the production of these materials. In the case of solid RM, particle size distribution plays a vital role on the homogeneity of the material and on the minimum representative sample required for trace element analysis. Generally, RMs of the same matrix but from different producers show different particle size distributions.For soil and sediment RMs, particle size distribution can vary from Fresenius J. Anal. Chem. 304-307]. It is also relevant to point out that the production of RMs with finer particles has a negative effect on the cost of RMs production. The proposed project will focus on soil/sediment candidate RMs with different trace element contents.

The project will bring together the results of experimental work that is being funded by different participants. The main aim is to investigate:

  • the influence of grain size distribution on the within and between bottles homogeneity;
  • the influence of grain size distribution on the minimum sample required for trace elements analysis;
  • the influence of grain size distribution on the stability of trace elements;
  • the cost associated with the production of RMs with different particles size distribution.

The results of the proposed project will be made available in a guide that can be useful for RM producers to select fit for purpose methods for RMs preparation and for the analytical community to select fit for purpose RMs.

Progress

> project announcement published in Chem. Int. Nov/Dec 2006

> October 2008 update – the contents of the technical report were defined in a meeting in Seibersdorf in the last September. The proposed title of the report is: “Guidelines on the selection and use of environmental reference material in respect to particle size and
related commutability”. The table of contents of the report is as follows:
– Introduction (M. Belli)
Scientific background
– Scope and field of application (M. Belli)
In this chapter will be reported the applicability of the guideline and its limitations
– Terminology and general aspect (A. Fajgelj)
– Commutability of reference materials (M. Belli, A. Fajgelj, U. Sansone)
In this chapter the concept of commutability of reference materials will be explored. The applicability of this concept to environmental matrix reference materials will be investigated and the results of the experimental activities will be reported.
– Methods for test samples preparation for trace element (including radionuclides) measurements (A. Sahuquillo -soil and sediment- P. de Zorzi -waste-)
In this chapter will be reported a review of the existing procedures (international standards and
literature) to prepare test samples from laboratory samples for trace elements measurements
in environmental samples. The need of reference materials with specific characteristics will be
investigated.
Methods for test samples preparation for organic compound measurements (P. de
Zorzi, M. Belli)
In this chapter will be reported a review of the existing procedures (international standards and literature) to prepare test samples from laboratory samples for organic compound measurements in environmental samples. The need of reference materials with specific
characteristics will be investigated.
– Particle size of available (C)RM (Z. Mester)
MR for trace element measurements including radionuclides
MR for organic compound measurements
Discussions and recommendations (all)
– References (A. Fajgelj)

> November 2017 – project abandoned.