Magnetic resonance spectroscopy, also known as NMR (nuclear magentic resonance) spectroscopy is the same fundamental technology as used in MRI scanners in hospital applications.
When it comes to online analysis of wastewater, the technology has to be repackaged in order to enable a wastewater sample to pass through the analyser and the analysis be carried out.
NMR has been utilised in chemistry for many years as it’s a powerful technique that enables users to quantify the number individual atoms (and the isotopes of those atoms) in a sample.
In the Nanonord online analyser, the method involves observing magnetic fields around atomic nuclei. An initial signal is produced by exciting nuclei with spin (such as hydrogen or phosphorus) with radio waves which leads to their excitation and relaxation giving out characteristic signals which are specific to the type of nuclei present.
In addition to this, the Nanonord analyser can use radiofrequency pulses and monitor the rate of relaxation of different compounds, this enables magnetic resonance to separate out the response from phosphorus bound to organic molecules, to those that are bound to oxygen. This enables measurement of both total phosphorus and orthophosphate in a matter of seconds.
This brand new technology for the water industry means analysis of samples containing high solids for nutrients such as nitrate, orthophosphate and total phosphorus is now possible.
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