Skalar San++ Analyzer for Sea Water Analysis - Optimum Accuracy and Performance

Skalar Analytical thanks Mrs. Natalya Mishina, Research Scientist of the Murmansk Marine Biological Institute (MMBI), Murmansk, Russia for her contribution in writing this article.


When studying the composition of sea water, the researchers may encounter several problems related not only to the short life time of preserved samples but also to the specific features of the analytical methods. Regardless of having the choice of several methods of the sample preservation, the analysis of biogenic elements has to be performed as soon as possible after the sampling.

In this context the determination of the hydro-chemical parameters is usually performed on-board during the expedition. Generally, the analytical methods employed did not require any complicated equipment but were time-consuming and labor-intensive, which was strongly limiting the number of samples analyzed per day.

With the new generation of Skalar San++ Continuous Flow Analyzers the researchers got the tools to solve these problems and provide a solution for the analysis of phosphate, nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, dissolved organic carbon, silicate and many others. In 2007 the Murmansk Marine Biological Institute (MMBI) acquired and tested Skalar’s San++ analyzer in the on-board laboratory of the research vessel "Dalnye Zelenci" during the expedition on the Barents Sea. In spite of the fact that the analyzer was mostly used by MMBI in their stationary lab on shore, the first attempt to exploit it in the conditions of an expedition was successful. During the sailing the extended complex of hydro-chemical research was performed. Very interesting results could be collected in the unexplored area north of the 80° northern latitude close to the Franz Josef archipelago.

Even on heavy sea the Skalar San++ Analyzers worked very stable. The influence of the vessels vibrations on the analyzers baseline and peaks was negligible. The calibrations made on board did not differ from the calibrations made in the land laboratory. Because of the high degree of automation, the time needed for the sample treatment was much shorter than for manual methods.

The use of the automatic analyzer in the on-board laboratory, facilitates the work of the hydro-chemist on high sea and allows him to obtain results which were more difficult to get in the past. The analyzer is planned to be employed for scientific and research tasks in the coming marine expeditions.

More information on MMBI and its research is available on: MMBI


Similar experiences have been reported by the researchers on the oceanographic vessel “Samiento de Gambo” of the Department of Research and Technological Innovation (RTI) in Vigo, Spain. RTI is a research department of the UTM (Marine Technology Unit) and is oriented to obtain new technologies in the field of Marine Sciences.

The aim of RTI is to promote technological innovation in instrumentation, acquisition systems and signal processing methods in Marine Sciences, to foster advance in knowledge of the oceans by supporting the formation of young marine scientists, engineers and technicians and to offer support-service to the scientific community in processing marine data.

More information on their research can be found on: UTM

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