Analytical evaluation of geological samples paper scoops award

  Mintek scientist, Hlengiwe Mnculwane won the Best Paper Award at the National Laboratory Association South Africa’s Test and Measurement 2019 International Conference and Workshop held recently in Muldersdrift. Mnculwane’s paper entitled “Analytical evaluation and analysis of geological samples and possible method validation” forms part of research in one of the 2018/19 Science Vote projects. The paper investigates the suitable digestion method for geological samples and developing analytical methods for analysis of 51 elements using ICP-MS, ICP-OES, XRF and combustion techniques. Mnculwane said, “Geological samples often include a wide range of matrices and elements at differing concentrations, from trace elements to major components.” She explains, “Besides this, various inter-element interferences can occur and must be taken into consideration when analysing such samples. This makes analyses of this type of samples a challenging, requiring different preparation and analytical methods.” The paper’s co-authors are Sizwe Majola and Dr Mokae Bambo who are scientists at Mintek.