MINTEK ON A DRIVE TO DEVELOP PORTABLE HANDHELD LABORATORY CYNOPROBES
In an effort to broaden its footprint in developing and enhancing measurement and control solutions to the industry, Mintek has developed a portable laboratory-scale version of the Cynoprobe instrument it developed years ago.
The laboratory Cynoprobe is based on a simplified version of the online Cynoprobe version3 instrument, which measures both free, and weak acid dissociable (WAD) cyanide concentration and pH of up to three sampling points in a pulp medium.
The laboratory Cynoprobe facilitates the use of Mintek’s amperometric cyanide measurement technology within a client’s own laboratory to assist with compliance with the International Cyanide Management Code (ICMC) and to evaluate the measurement principle for wider online implementation of the online Cynoprobe v3 as part of a broader ICMC compliance strategy.
Since its introduction in the market, the laboratory Cynoprobe has seen increased interest from industry and 15 of these instruments have been sold worldwide. According to Chris Hockaday, Head: Instruments at Mintek’s Measurement and Control (MaC) Division, higher manufacturing cost of this instrument has led to the development of a portable Cynoprobe unit, which is based on the embedded technology being developed for Mintek’s next generation of low cost Cynoprobe instruments.
According to Hockaday, “the handheld Cynoprobe offers significant manufacturing cost reduction compared to the lab Cynoprobe, while offering a more practical portable instrument. Test results from the measurement of free cyanide were accurate and met expectations”.
The handheld Cynoprobe design uses an enhanced potentiostat, which significantly reduces the size and cost of the instrument. An embedded microcontroller in the handheld unit interfaces with the potentiostat, which is located directly inside the probe itself. The user interface comprises an LCD screen and a custom-printed membrane keypad. The entire system is battery-operated making it truly portable.
“The prototyte is currently been developed to integrate temperature and pH measurements, which will allow the unit to provide all three measurements via a single probe. It is expected that the first commercial units will be available in the latter part of 2016”, said Hockaday.