• Building sustainability into accurate reliable cuvette tests

Environmental Laboratory

Building sustainability into accurate reliable cuvette tests

Feb 13 2024

Hach (then Dr. Lange) launched the world’s first ready-to-use reagent packages for photometric analysis back in the 1960s. Since then Hach has developed service capabilities and technologies for the highest levels of accuracy, reliability and sustainability – what does that mean?

Environmental measurements that protect the environment

Ever since the early days it became clear to Hach’s development engineers that an accurate, reliable, sustainable measuring system must consist of more than just test vials and a photometer. The technologies behind these products are, of course, vitally important, but the ultimate goals of accuracy, reliability and sustainability can only be achieved with a comprehensive, globally available service that also includes parts, spares, accessories, technical support by qualified personnel, waste minimisation and recycling services that optimise the sustainability of the whole measurement process. These measurements are mostly undertaken to protect the environment, so it would be utterly absurd if the analytical process itself was not environmentally friendly.

Not disposal, but real recycling

Continuous investment in sustainability is a high priority in the development of the LCK Cuvette Tests. Firstly, a key objective is to maximise accuracy while minimising the amounts of chemicals and harmful substances that are used. Secondly, since 1978, Hach has collected used reagents for proper treatment in its own Environment Centre. Thanks to special processing techniques, more than 75% of all returned test components are fed back into the production and material cycles. Customers are always welcome to visit the Environment Centre in Duesseldorf, Germany.

HACH – be right

It is no coincidence that Hach’s logo emphasises the importance of measurement results being accurate. This is a theme that runs through the company – it’s almost an obsession! Correct measurement results are not obtained by chance, but depend on a combination of product and workflow quality. Hach product quality begins even before production: during research and development and in purchasing. Comprehensive checks are carried out on suppliers and raw materials, and special machinery is used to test the highest levels of quality and reliability in intermediate and finished products.

Reliability from day one

A special feature of the LCK Cuvette Test System is its focus on practical requirements – a process which is informed by existing users. The development of photometers and reagents are coordinated to ensure maximum compatibility and reliability. This process ensures the development of smart photometers and cuvette tests that meet the precise needs of users, with systematic and simple handling to avoid potential sources of error.

Diversity of tests

There are now cuvette tests for more than 50 different parameters – from Ammonium to Zirconium – with more than 100 measuring ranges. The diversity of the tests makes them suitable for the analysis of drinking water, wastewater and process water. Hach LCK Cuvette Tests cover all the applications for which operational analysis is used, from the field to largescale laboratories.

Photometers designed to reduce operating errors

Hach spectrophotometers are configured and pre-calibrated in the factory, so the measurement result is obtained after just a few steps. All important test data is already stored in the photometer, which also helps to reduce potential sources of error.

The 10-fold rotational measurement with an integrated barcode reader automatically identifies the cuvette test and loads the associated evaluation factors as the cuvette rotates. At the same time, anomalous readings caused by soil or scratches on the cuvette glass are recognised as outliers and eliminated, so that they cannot influence the result.

Sample preparation with shorter digestion times

Besides the “normal” sample digestion with the standard LT200 thermostat, the HT200S can be used to carry out a fast digestion for the parameters COD, total phosphorus, nitrogen and heavy metals. Thanks to the shorter digestion times and automatic rapid cooling, a COD determination, for example, takes only 35 minutes instead of the usual 2.25 hours.

Analytical Quality Assurance

Regular application of AQA ensures that:

  • The results of analyses are traceable.
  • The correct status of the complete system is documented.
  • Handling errors can be recognised immediately.
  • Results of analyses are recognised.

Hach supports this by offering single and multiparameter standard solutions, test filter sets for photometers and Service Programs for preventative instrument maintenance.

User safety

Safe handling of chemicals is a key priority for Hach. The narrow neck of the LCK cuvettes prevents chemicals from spilling even when an open cuvette is knocked over accidentally. At the same time it minimises evaporation whenever the cap is removed.

The Dosicap system was developed to make the addition of solid reagents to the cuvette as simple, as safe, and as reproducibly precise as possible. The required amount of reagent is freeze-dried in a cuvette cap. When the reagent needs to be added the Dosicap is screwed on the cuvette and the solid reagent is dissolved only after the cuvette is safely closed again.

Summary

The next time someone offers you cheap cuvettes, ask them what they are doing to ensure accuracy, reliability and sustainability, because the global capability that Hach has developed since the 1960s has become the yardstick by which all others are measured.


Digital Edition

IET 34.1 Jan 2024

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