Examining Macroelements and Trace Elements in Water Samples

This method is designed for measurement of the concentration of elements in a range of water samples, including tap water, natural water, drinking water (including bottled water), mineral water, waste water, and more.

Lumex Instruments has tackled the difficulties inherent in measuring both macroelements and trace elements with one instrument - the Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrometer (GFAAS) MGA-1000.

The analysis techniques applied by Lumex Instruments comply with international regulations on water analysis by GFAAS, as does this instrument. These are therefore ideal for wastewater management, food testing, pharma applications, and environment monitoring.

Measurement Method

Trace Elements

The trace element determination part of this analytical method is based on the concept of the Stabilized Temperature Platform Furnace (STPF). This technique for determining trace elements is compliant with main standard methods such as US EPA Methods 7010, 200.9 etc. The complete list of standards can be found on the Lumex Instruments website.

Limits of quantification (LOQ) are listed in the table below.

Element Al Ag As Ba Be Cd Co Cr Cu Fe Li Mn Mo Ni Pb Sb Se Sr Ti V Zn
LOQ, ppb (μg/L) 1 0.1 1 2 0.1 0.01 1 0.5 0.5 0.5 1 0.2 1 1 0.5 1 1 1 5 1 0.01



It is possible to directly measure macroelement concentrations, courtesy of the technologies built into the GFAAS MGA-1000: precise graphite furnace temperature management and gas-phase dynamic dilution system.

There is no requirement for flammable gas, and no time is lost switching from GF to flame since everything is done with a GFAAS.

The table below lists measurement ranges (with dilution).

Element Na K Ca Mg
Measurement range, ppm (mg/L) 0.5-5000 0.5-5000 0.1-5000 0.1-5000


Highlights of GFAAS Analysis with MGA-1000

  • The cutting-edge Zeeman High Frequency Polarization Modulation (ZHFPM) background correction system provides wide measurement ranges and low detection limits.
  • Complete versatility is offered to users – there is no longer any need for combined GFAAS and FAAS, as the MGA-1000 can analyze macroelements and trace elements simultaneously.
  • The instrumentation price is affordable
  • User-friendly design and compact size

Equipment and Reagents

Eltherm Software and a powerful and compact water-cooling system are both included in the MGA-1000 Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrometer starter pack.

Depending on the user’s application, graphite tubes can also be included in the delivery set.

The only pressurized gas which is required is argon.

In order for work in the laboratory to be carried out properly and accurately, there should be bidistilled (or deionized) water, standard reference materials for analyzed elements, in addition to some acids, matrix modifiers, and glassware.

Measurement Procedures

Prior to analysis, the sample needs to be filtered and preserved.

An aliquot of the prepared sample is then injected into the spectrometer’s graphite furnace, before the measurement is made according to the specific element’s analytical procedure.

For every element, a recommended set of analytical parameters is provided.

The sample injection volume ranges from 10-40 µL.

The dedicated software Eltherm, which is included in the starter pack, collects and processes measurement data.

About Lumex Instruments

For almost 30 years, Lumex Instruments has been developing and manufacturing laboratory and industrial analytical equipment, instruments, and procedures.

Our products are used for environmental control, water and wastewater treatment, agriculture, food and beverage quality and safety control, energy industry, and pharmaceutical and biochemical applications. Lumex Instruments offers more than 120 applications for the measurement of organic and inorganic chemicals in liquid, solid and gas.

We offer both traditional and new ingenious solutions, unique technologies and classical equipment, well-established reliable applications and innovative methods. From the beginning of the company, we have developed, manufactured and sold more than 16,500 instruments.

Our products include:

  • capillary electrophoresis systems
  • PCR analyzers
  • atomic absorption spectrometers (including mercury analyzers and monitors)
  • FTIR and NIR Spectrometers
  • fluorimeters and more

We combine high-quality standards with the flexible customized approach because we care about the efficiency of our customer operations. All our innovations are targeted to make the analyses cost-efficient, easy to run, and the instruments easy to maintain and service. We proudly deliver our products and services all around the world and we enjoy working with our valued customers and partners in many industries and countries.

With customers in more than 90 countries worldwide, Lumex Instruments has several offices and multiple distributors around the world.

A significant number of our applications are developed in accordance with international standards, such as ASTM, ISO, EN and EPA.

Facts and figures:

  • More than 30 models of analytical instruments developed starting from 1991
  • Over 20 patents
  • 20% market share of the portable mercury analyzers
  • Over 120 applications
  • Over 350 employees, and 25% of them are involved in the development of new applications and instruments

The customers who selected Lumex Instruments include: BP, Enel, Royal Dutch Shell, PETRONAS, PetroChina, Chevron, UNIDO, SGS, Carlsberg Group, Unilever, PepsiCo, Nestle, Princeton University, and others.

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Last updated: Jul 24, 2020 at 5:32 AM


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