U.S. Newsletter - Fall 2017

 SEAL Analyzer Newsletter


  • Automate Your Sample Preparation
  • Testing the Waters at Rio Olympics
  • NH3 Gas Diffusion
  • Conferences & User Groups
  • Tech Tip – Customers Only Login
  • Flared End Pump Tubing for ICP 
  • 1st Fully Automated SFA
 Automate your sample preparation with SEAL Analytical
automated sample digestionMost customers know SEAL as a high quality manufacturer of analytical instrumentation for nutrient testing, but are you aware that we offer inline and offline sample preparation solutions for your ever-changing needs?

SEAL offers digestion systems with varying degrees of automation and features to meet multiple analytical needs. The Smartblock is our most simple and easy to use system. The Smartblock is a digestion block that provides even heating of samples for applications up to 180°C. This is ideal for simple digestion of wastewater or other various sample types for trace metals, mercury or for persulfate digestions for TN or TP analysis.

Do you need to automate your entire digestion process? The DEENA II is our fully automated digestion system. Like the Smartblock, the DEENA II is also ideal for digestions of low temperature applications like metals digestions, mercury or persulfate digestion for TN or TP, but the DEENA II completely automates the entire digestion process. All that is required is placing a known volume of sample or standard into each tube. The DEENA II takes care of the rest! From adding concentrated acid, to mixing, heating, and filling to the final volume, the

DEENA II prepares your sample fully and allows you to easily transfer the final digestate to your analytical testing equipment. This means that your lab is safer, the results are more precise, and your procedure is more efficient.

If your lab requires an automated digestion solution for digestions of a high temperature, then look no further than the BD50 or BD28 block digestion systems. The BD series offers automation and unparalleled even heating for the most reliable digestion on the market. We offer two models to accommodate different digestion tubes. The BD50 holds fifty tubes, either 100 mL or 75 mL volume, and is ideal for liquid samples. The BD28 holds twenty-eight 250 mL tubes and is ideal for solid samples or digestions that require a larger final volume.

Both systems have the same footprint and use the same temperature controller. The controller allows automation of the stepping and ramping required for the standard TKN (Kjeldahl) digestion or any other complex digestion method. The BD series of block digestion systems is unique in its solid aluminum block and even heating technique – guaranteed to be ±2°C across the entire block surface. This means that you will have the most reliable digestion available, saving analytical time from expensive reruns or additional digestions of the same analytical batch.


DID YOU KNOW? If you are automating your TKN digestions with our BD50 and testing with any of our analyzers for NPDES compliance monitoring, you do not need to distill your samples! 

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Customer Highlight

Scientists at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, 

who have been testing the waters around Rio for the last 20 years, expressed disappointment with the lack of preparation for the 2016 Olympics. Employing advanced technology from SEAL Analytical, the university’s marine biology laboratory revealed worrying trends for parameters such as ammonia, nitrate and phosphate.

Guanabara Bay sits beneath the iconic Sugar Loaf Mountain, and was the location for the sailing events of the 2016 Olympics. However, practicing international contestants had complained of detritus in the water presenting a hazard. “Sailors have reported floating TV sets, sofas and dead animals,”says the University’s Professor Rodolfo Paranhos.“These items present a physical hazard that can damage a yacht or get caught up in the rudder, causing it to lose its place in a race. However, chemical and biological pollution represents a potentially more serious threat, because of the diseases that can arise from sewage pollution.”

Greater Rio has a population of over 10 million people. Every day, millions of liters of untreated sewage are discharged into Guanabara Bay and into the rivers that feed it. As a result, these rivers are largely anoxic – incapable of supporting normal aquatic life. The analysis of water samples from Guanabara Bay revealed worrying trends in water pollution. High levels of ammonia and total nitrogen have been caused by population growth without concurrent growth of sanitary infrastructure. As a result, the area’s rivers are largely dead, biodiversity is damaged, and some of Rio’s beaches are unsafe for swimming or other water based activities.

With the benefit of 20 years of data, the University’s laboratory was able to identify both pollution incidents and long-term trends. “This necessitates the analysis of large numbers of samples, with a major focus on accuracy and reliability,” says Rodolfo. “So, we participate in an international calibration exercise to ensure that our results are highly accurate, and the installation in 2012 of a five channel SEAL AA3 automated continuous segmented flow analyzer, has provided a tremendous increase in sample throughput capacity.

“Prior to the arrival of the AA3, all of our samples were individually tested manually with a spectrophotometer, but we are now able to analyze multiple samples simultaneously for parameters such as ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, orthophosphate, silicates, total nitrogen and total phosphorus. Typically, we test 40 to 50 samples per day, but with the AA3 we can easily increase this to 100 when necessary. This means that we are now able to test many more samples with the same level of funding so I am naturally extremely happy with the SEAL analyzer.”

In summary, automated segmented flow analyzers enable laboratories to dramatically increase work flow, while maintaining high levels of accuracy and reliability without incurring high operational costs. These benefits are exemplified by the marine biology laboratory at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, which has demonstrated the advantages of long-term monitoring programs in the identification of water quality trends.

Testing for ammonia, nitrate, phosphate with SEAL Analyzerstesting the waters around rio with SEAL Analyzers 

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Upcoming SEAL Analytical User Groups


Online Gas Diffusion for Ammonia Analysis

online gas diffusion for ammoniaAs of the 2012 Method Update Rule, the EPA approved running gas diffusion as an approved alternative to manual distillation for analyzing ammonia in samples!

In both gas diffusion and distillation ammonia is separated from the samples by gas phase transfer.

Since only gaseous species pass through the membrane, both matrix and color interferences are eliminated prior to detection. We then have separation of the analyte from unwanted constituents in the original sample matrix such as color, particulates, and turbidity.

How it Works!

  • The sample enters the SFA system and with an addition of a basic reagent becomes alkaline. In an alkaline state the ammonia in the sample is now present as dissolved gas.
  • The alkaline sample flows across a hydrophobic membrane which is semi-permeable and allows only the gaseous phase to pass through.
  • The ammonia gas that passes through the membrane enters an acidic acceptor stream and the ammonia concentration can now be determined by the colorimetric reaction.


  • Save Time – The gas diffusion process online is much quicker than an offline manual distillation procedure.
  • Streamline – You only need to pour your samples once! Only one instrument is needed for both the gas transfer and the colorimetric reaction to take place.
  • Sample Capacity – The sample batch is not limited by the size of the distillation unit.


  • The approval is listed in 40 CFR, Part 136.3 Table 1b, as well as 40 CFR Part 136.6, both of which reference gas diffusion as an approved method modification. 
Tech tips 

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Flared End Pump Tubing for ICP

It can be difficult to insert the sample tube into the peristaltic pump tubing on your ICP-MS. This is particularly so if the peristaltic pump tubing has a small internal diameter (ID). For example the pump tubing used for the internal standard which usually has an ID of 0.2 to 0.4mm is incompatible with the sample tubing OD of 1.3mm. The flared end of this pump tubing allows the larger sample capillary tubing to be inserted. Any pump tubing type can be supplied with flared ends; this includes both 2-shoulder and 3-shoulder tubing types. 

Contact us for a free sample! 262-643-4670 • sales@flaredtubing.com 

ate CFA
SEAL QuAAtro 39 offers full automation for the first time on Continuous Flow Analysis.


"You Asked, We Listened!"

With throughput speeds of up to 120 samples/hour per channel (over 600 tests/hour), the QuAAtro 39 is the fastest Segmented Flow Analyzer (SFA) on the market. Using only 1 mm internal diameter glass, the Q39 also generates significantly less waste per sample, compared to other leading systems that use larger inner diameter glass. With all of these features the QuAAtro still maintains some of the lowest detection limits on the market, and is the first choice for seawater applications. Now we can add fully automatic start-up and shutdown to the list of accolades.

SEAL has equipped the QuAAtro 39 with a revamped reagent valve system and added an automatic platen release to allow the system to run unattended and overnight. Reagent valves enable the system to automatically transition from wash solution to reagents during start-up, and then back to wash solution to rinse out following a run. This feature reduces the amount of analyst time dedicated to operating the QuAAtro, and also minimizes the amount of reagent used by the system. Following the final rinse out of the system the platens automatically release to protect and extend the life of the pump tubes.

Combining the reagent valves with automatic platen release brings a new level of automation to Segmented Flow Analyzers. Please call us for more information.

 Contact SEAL Analytical