Tokyo, Aug 27, 2007 (JCN) – The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), in collaboration with Masanori Hirai, President of Dia Instruments Co., Ltd., has developed a fully automatic total fluorine-analyzing system with an unprecedented high level of sensitivity.

This refined analyzer can measure fluorine concentrations in gas, liquid, and solid samples in less than 20 minutes with a level of sensitivity that is several hundred times better than that of conventional models. As no sample pretreatment is required, a potential source of contamination and error is eliminated.

The system is based on the conventional halogen analyzer that uses combustion ion chromatography (CIC). A higher level of sensitivity was achieved by replacing the fluorine-containing materials in part of the equipment and in the gas-supply line, which have the potential for fluorine contamination, with non-fluoropolymer materials and by using higher purity gases for the sample combustion. Our new system permits the quantitative analysis of absolute amounts of 0.6 ng fluorine.

The analyzer allows easy, rapid, and sensitive analyses of the total fluorine and organic fluorine compounds that are present in various environmental samples and industrial products. It can also be used to analyze compounds that contain chlorine or bromine. Thus, it is suitable for ensuring compliance with the EU RoHS directive and with potential future regulations on fluorinated compounds, such as the EU’s REACH legislation.

As a simple and rapid method for the safety testing of various industrial products is developed, the refined analyzer can also be used for the sensitive analysis of total bromine, as required by the EU Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS). It will also help meet future international regulations on fluorinated compounds, such as the EU’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) legislation.

The analyzer is suitable for a variety of applications, including the sensitive analysis of fluorine-containing impurities, such as perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), in environmental samples, industrial raw materials, pharmaceuticals, and high-purity reagents and gases, and in lifecycle assessments as well as the analysis of wastes.

The details of this new technology will be presented at Japan’s Exhibition of Analytical Instruments Solutions 2007, which will be held in Makuhari Messe from August 29 to 31, and in lectures and presentations at international conferences.