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22. Mai 2024

Review: Workshop on elution processes

Erfahren Sie mehr über die Bedeutung der Elutionsverfahren in der Umweltanalytik und innovative Lösungen wie unser Perkolationssystem TerraElute 20.

On 7 and 8 May, a user workshop was held in Berlin, organized by the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) and the Gewerbliches Institut für Umweltanalytik (GIU) in cooperation with the German Institute for Standardization (DIN) and the German Association of Independent Testing Laboratories (VUP). The aim of the workshop was to discuss practical experience with elution methods in the regulatory area of the Mantelverordnung (Substitute Building Materials Ordinance).

As a developer and manufacturer of laboratory equipment for these processes, we were also represented and had the opportunity to present our products. What may initially sound like a dry topic turned out to be an extremely exciting insight into the mechanisms and challenges involved in the development of standards and their practical implementation.

Importance of elution methods in environmental analysis

The two elution methods, short column test and shaking test according to DIN 19528 and DIN 19529, play an important role in the investigation of the elution behavior of soil and waste materials.

By repeatedly flowing through a column filled with solid sample material or by shaking the sample in distilled water, the pollutants to be tested are dissolved from the solid sample and can then be analyzed. These methods are considered equivalent in the Substitute Building Materials Ordinance and the Federal Soil Protection Ordinance, although their equivalence is still being investigated due to the differences in the sample materials and pollutants. Initial practical results were presented and further experience will be systematically gathered until the regulations are reviewed again in 2027.

The two methods are crucial for estimating the leachate quality when using substitute building materials and thus contribute to the protection of soil and groundwater. All substitute building materials must be tested before possible reuse, which results in a high volume of samples.

TerraElute 20: An innovative solution for sample elution

Together with a large testing laboratory, we have developed a solution to this challenge: the TerraElute 20 percolation system, a fully automated laboratory device for elution that can carry out up to 20 column tests simultaneously. The system has a modular design, allowing us to adapt it to the requirements and budget of smaller laboratories. This innovative solution enables efficient and precise analysis of sample materials and helps to reduce costs and personnel costs.

Further solutions for partial automation

For customers who already use manual columns, we also offer various solutions for partial automation. These include, for example, our PPS-5 5-fold peristaltic pump system with motor speed controller and water stop sensor, which signals when the samples are saturated. Our tried-and-tested overhead shakers can be adapted for shaking tests according to individual laboratory requirements in terms of volume and number of samples.

The direct exchange with experts and users has led to new development ideas that help to find customized solutions for individual requirements. We are proud to provide our expertise as a solution provider and look forward to future collaborations with users.

Many thanks to the organizing team Dr. Ute Kalbe (BAM) and Hans Albrich (GIU) and all participants for their interesting contributions. We are looking forward to the continuation of this cooperation and further developments in the world of elution processes.

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