Chemical Analysis at BAM

Source: BAM

Raw materials are the engine of our modern industrial society. But they can also become pollutants after being processed in everyday products. Both the extraction of raw materials and environmental protection require reliable chemical data. This was the central theme of the special colloquium on 25 April 2016 organised by the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM) and the International Association of Geoanalysts (IAG).

People have always extracted, used and traded raw materials. Entire eras of pre- and early history were named according to them, which shows the importance of raw materials for society. Need and demand for raw materials are constantly increasing. More and more raw materials and natural resources are discovered and new uses are found. Therefore, reliable geo-analytical methods are necessary both to assure their availability and because of possible anthropogenic pollution incurred during their use.

"We extract raw materials, process and use them. Geochemists develop reliable analytical methods for volume control in ore mining. The data must be reliable because the extraction company needs to know if mining is economically worthwhile. The raw material / contaminant cycle can be illustrated using the example of the chemical element lead. Lead is obtained from lead ores and was used in battery production and as a knock inhibitor in petrol in the past. The combustion of petrol and recycling of batteries releases lead into the environment where it can exert toxic effects on plants, animals and humans. Again, we need reliable analysis results," said Dr. Martin Rosner.
Rosner is an IAG board member and heads IsoAnalysis UG, a spin-off of BAM founded in 2010. IsoAnalysis offers comprehensive and unique services for isotope analysis of lithium, boron, strontium and lead from geological and environmental samples, industrial products, artefacts and food.

Alpha and omega: reliable analysis results

IAG as an international forum in the field of geo-analytics, and BAM as a designated national chemical metrology institute, presented at the colloquium how the quality of analysis results can be improved using reference materials or interlaboratory tests. Microanalytical in-situ methods for the determination of material surfaces, for example, are also on the agenda. They are methods of interest for doctoral students at the Graduate School of Analytical Sciences Adlershof (SALSA). The Graduate School is part of the Excellence Initiative of the German Government and is jointly managed by BAM and the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

The colloquium as a cooperation platform

IAG and BAM experts use the colloquium as a platform for new ideas and cooperation. The common denominator is further development of methods to improve the quality of analysis results.

Tasting wine and mineral water

At the end of the event the participants can taste wine and mineral water. The geographical origin is determined with the help of the strontium isotope compositions 87Sr / 86Sr.

About BAM

BAM promotes safety in technology and chemistry.

As a BMWi departmental research institute, BAM performs research and testing and advisory activity to protect people, the Environment and material goods. Its activity in the fields of materials science, materials engineering and chemistry is focussed on the technical safety of products and processes. BAM’s research is directed towards substances, materials, building elements, components and facilities as well as natural and technical systems important for the national economy and relevant to society and tests and assesses their safe handling and operation. BAM develops and validates analysis procedures and assessment methods, models and necessary standards and provides science-based service for the German industry in a European and international framework.

Safety creates markets

BAM sets and represents high standards for safety in technology and chemistry for Germany and its global markets to further develop the successful German quality culture „Made in Germany“.