Project Details Greenness of official standard sample preparation methods

Project No.: 
Start Date: 
01 September 2021
End Date: 


1. Evaluate the current status of greenness of the sample preparation methods used in official standard methods;
2. Provide metric tools to assess the greenness of sample preparation methods;
3. Proposing events and publications for up-to-date discussion related to the official standard methods based on their greenness degree;
4. Develop a roadmap for greener alternative analytical methods, emphasizing in sample preparation;
5. Contribute to the permanent establishment of a network of specialists as well as interested representatives and institutions involved in this topic to promote a common understanding of greenness degree;
6. Linking universities, industries, and governmental/non-governmental sectors to better approach relevant themes and contents in the topic.


Analytical methodologies are essential for evaluating the impact of chemical activities. At the same time, they can contribute to further environmental problems mainly due to the use and generation of hazardous substances during all steps of analysis, as well as some less obvious indirect impacts resulting, for example, from the consumption of energy during use. Sample preparation is a critical step in analysis where samples are converted into a form/concentration compatible with the analytical instrumentation to be used. More importantly, it is the step of the analytical process where greenness-related issues can play an important role. Although research in the area of green and sustainable sample preparation has been outstandingly successful, it was not effective enough to have its advances taken up by international standardization associations. This resulted in official analytical methods still relying on environmentally unfriendly sample preparation procedures, not in line with the present trends. Moreover, private and industrial laboratories consider sustainable or more eco-friendly sample preparation methods as an extra burden rather than an opportunity for effective management and efficient, cost-effective, and socially responsible, practice. As a first step to address this problem, this project will create an inventory of sample preparation official standard methods (e.g. ISO, CEN, US EPA, AOAC, IFRA, ASTM, and Pharmacopoeia) currently in use for the analysis of legislated chemicals in environmental, agricultural, food and drug samples. A new tool for evaluating the greenness of sample preparation will be developed and standard methods will be evaluated for their greenness. Based on the results green alternatives will be proposed, yielding similar or better method performances. To maximize input and impact, task group members span from academia, IUPAC/Analytical Chemistry Division, EuChemS/Division of Analytical Chemistry, private companies, and national standard bodies. The application of environmentally benign analytical methods is the most appropriate way for pollution abatement.

The impact of this project is expected to be large as the greening of analytical methods is one of the social responsibilities of the analysts and the aims of this project are in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


January 2022 update – The kick-off meeting took place on 7 October 2021 and all members were present. Scheduling of tasks was confirmed and work was divided into working groups. Our recent and current activities are summarized as follows:
– A sub-group formulated the ten principles of green sample preparation that serve as guidelines for the development of overall greener analytical methodologies. This work was published in Trends in Analytical Chemistry, 148 (2022) 116530, Elsevier (
– A sub-group created the first metric tool for evaluating the greenness in sample preparation methods and an open-access intuitive software that makes assessment process efficient both for introducing values and reading output. This work was recently submitted in Trends in Analytical Chemistry.

The task-group members were divided in three working groups and started evaluating the sample preparation methods found in standardization bodies. Currently, work progresses in a stepwise manner and initially targets the evaluation of US EPA and AOAC methods dealing with applications in environmental/organics, food and environmental/inorganics.

We currently organize the Round Table Discussion to be held during the 2nd European Sample Preparation Conference|1st Green and Sustainable Analytical Chemistry e-Conferences (14-16 March, 2022). See update at

Page last update 24 Jan 2022