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Understanding Your Analytical Testing Needs

Setting up a laboratory is a challenging task. You must consider the types of instrumentation to purchase, and how the different systems integrate to complete a specific analysis or application. You also need to consider the amount of lab square footage and bench-top space you have available, and whether your staff is trained to use each piece of equipment properly.

Remove the stress surrounding purchasing new lab equipment by first having a clear picture of your analytical needs. This includes:

  • Knowing the application area
  • Deciding which technique is best for you
  • Narrowing down the type of instrument that suits your needs

understanding your analytical testing needs

First, what application area are you focused on?

Analytical laboratory instruments are used in a variety of industries and work environments. The primary instrumentation manufacturers design instrumentation to be used across most industries. It is more than likely that you know the industry your lab operates in, but here is a list of the primary application areas analytical instrumentation is used in:

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Clinical Analysis
  • Environmental Testing
  • Food & Beverage Analysis
  • Forensic Analysis
  • Life Science Research
  • Materials Characterization and Research
  • Petrochemical Testing
  • Pharmaceutical Analysis



What analytical technique is best for you?

Before you can make decisions at the instrumentation level, it is important to understand what analytical technique you are going to be using. An analytical technique is a method that is used to determine a chemical or physical property of a chemical substance, chemical element, or mixture. There are a wide variety of techniques used for analysis, from simple weighing to advanced techniques using highly specialized instrumentation. Sometimes there are applications or tests that can be performed using different techniques, with the difference between sensitivity, speed, complexity to perform, or cost-per-sample.

Once you determine the analytical technique you are looking to perform, this will offer direction on what instrument and sample preparation and introduction system you will need to purchase.

Now that you know your analytical technique, what analytical instruments are available?


What analytical instrument is right for your application?

When it comes to understanding your analytical testing needs, knowing what instrument it right for the job is critical. The number of analytical instruments available on the market – is quite extensive, and almost impossible to exhaustively list out. If you are working in a lab, you are most likely investigating bench-top analytical instruments that can be placed on top of a lab bench. Or you might be looking towards larger, floor-standing models that require dedicated rooms or square footage. If you are working on the go or in the field, a handheld instrument is ideal for analyzing samples at the source. And for those working in process environments, analytical instruments that offer online measurement capabilities are ideal for monitoring levels of various compounds or taking instant sample measurements.

At Quantum Analytics, our portfolio is focused primarily on bench-top instruments:

Gas Chromatography
  • GC Systems
  • Headspace Samplers
  • Automatic Liquid Sampler
  • Sample Prep Workbench
  • GC-FID Accessories & Methanizers
  • Tandem Micro-Reactors
  • Single-Shot Pyrolyzers
  • Multi-Shot Pyrolyzers
Thermal Desorption
  • Multi-Tube Conditioners
  • Micro-Chamber Thermal Extractors
  • Water Abstraction Device
  • Automated Cannister Analyzer
Mass Spectrometry
  • GC/MS Systems
  • GC/Q-TOF System
  • GC/MSD System
  • Real-Time Gas Analyzers
Liquid Chromatography
  • HPLC & LC Systems
  • LC/MS Triple Quadrupole Systems
Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR Spectroscopy)
  • Benchtop FTIR Spectrometers
  • FTIR Microscopes
  • High-Performance ATR
Fourier Transform Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-NIR Spectroscopy)
  • FT-NIR Spectrometer
  • Multi-Purpose FT-NIR Analyzers
Raman Spectroscopy
  • Handheld Raman Spectrometers
Atomic Spectroscopy
  • Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS)
  • Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-OES)
X-Ray Analysis
  • Benchtop X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometer (EDXRF and WDXRF)
  • Benchtop X-Ray Microscope (Micro CT)
  • Benchtop X-Ray Diffractometer (XRD)
  • Benchtop Micro-XRF
Combustion Gas Analysis
  • Organic CHNSO
  • Inorganic CS & ONH
  • Total Organic Carbon & Water Analysis
  • Nitrogen/Protein Analysis


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When choosing to purchase a specific make and model of analytical instrument, you’ll want to understand the samples you are testing, the accuracy and sensitivity of the testing needed, and then connect your needs to the specifications of a particular instrument.


Ask yourself the following questions:

What are you looking to achieve with the analysis? Are you looking to identify unknowns, look for contaminants, and analyze elements to a certain limit?

What types of samples are you testing? Are they liquid or solid samples? Or are you looking to analyze air samples?

What sample throughput are you looking to achieve? Depending on whether you are doing a few samples a day, or in need of significant testing throughput, you might want to consider automation.

What level of sensitivity or accuracy do you need? This might narrow down what instrument is best for your application.

What are your budget and timeline? Some instrument types have a higher price tag than others. Knowing your upfront capital budget is good to know. But remember, there are ways to get the instrument you need without having to spend a large amount of capital upfront.

When it comes to understanding your analytical testing needs, having a clear picture of the application challenge you are trying to solve, the samples you are testing, and your budget and timeline are important.

The most important thing to remember is that your mission to purchase an analytical instrument for your lab does NOT have to be stressful. Our team at Quantum Analytics has over 30 years of experience helping chemists and scientists get the lab equipment they need to get their critical or routine testing done.


Explore Frontier Pyrolyzer accessories and how they can enhance the capabilities of the Multi-Functional Pyrolysis Solution.
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