• Retsch Provides Solution for ALcontrol Laboratories

Environmental Laboratory

Retsch Provides Solution for ALcontrol Laboratories

Jan 01 2000

ALcontrol Laboratories (UK) is one of the largest environmental (water, land and air), food and oil analysis organisations in the United Kingdom and Ireland, testing more than 2.0 million samples per year and having a turnover in excess of £31.0 million.
In 1989 Yorkshire Water formed ALcontrol, in the wake of the privatisation of the water companies, as their analytical testing function. Since 1989 a series of acquisitions (Geochem Group in Chester 1999; Technichem in Uxbridge 2001, AES in Rugby 2001 and Fugro Robertson [Environmental Laboratories] in North Wales in 2005) have enabled ALcontrol to grow and become the market leader for the analysis of soils from contaminated land in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Three large laboratories in their Land Division, based at Hawarden, Heathrow and Dublin, analyse potentially contaminated land samples by ICPMS, GCMS, HPLC etc and are UKAS accredited and all operate MCERTS (soil) ISO 17025:2000. The number of samples per day is in excess of 600 and growing and this requires a very efficient method for preparation of the samples prior to analysis.
Typically 150g samples are dried at 35 degrees Centigrade to prevent the loss of volatiles, pre-crushed to 10.0mm (if required) and the whole sample milled to a fine and homogenous powder. Rapid preparation of the sample, avoidance of contamination (especially heavy metal elements such as Nickel and Chrome) from any contact surfaces of the mill and ease of cleaning were of paramount importance in selecting instruments to cope with this high throughput demand to avoid a bottle neck at the analytical instruments.
ALcontrol Laboratories approached Retsch (UK) Ltd to help solve this problem and they were invited to spend a day at our Applications Laboratory in Leeds. Following extensive timed suitability trials the solution to their problem was to use two BB200 Jaw Crushers to pre-crush coarse material to

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