SRC Microwave Digestion and How it is Revolutionizing Elemental Analysis: A Virtual Symposium



Webinar Date/Time: Thu, Nov 16, 2023 11:00 AM EST

For elemental analysis labs looking to improve their throughput, data quality, labor requirements, costs, and safety, this virtual workshop presents a deep dive into the fundamentals and applications of single reaction chamber (SRC) microwave digestion. Come and see what the excitement regarding SRC is all about and how you can leverage its benefits to help address your laboratory’s sample prep challenges.

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Event Overview:

Over the past 30 years, closed-vessel microwave digestion has become the benchmark in sample preparation for elemental analysis. While traditional rotor-based systems have been the most deployed type to date, the introduction of single reaction chamber (SRC) technology has provided a significant boost in the capabilities needed to face today’s sample prep challenges. This includes more stringent detection limit and data quality requirements, harder-to-digest samples, more samples and sample types to analyze, and a greater focus on worker safety. As a result, SRC technology is being adopted by an increasing number of labs performing elemental analysis.

This virtual workshop will start with a deep dive into SRC technology and how it compares to rotor-based technologies. The deep dive will be followed by presentations that demonstrate the advantages and benefits of SRC digestion as it is used in several application areas, each with its own challenges, many of which are also common to other types of applications. In addition, it will be shown how SRC digestion fits into a total workflow approach to sample prep that includes aspects such as acid quality, reagent and vessel handling, and vessel cleaning.

Key Learning Objectives

  • Learn how SRC digestion systems work and what differentiates them from rotor-based systems.
  • Discover the benefits of using SRC digestion in application areas including food, mining/geochemistry, advanced materials, and consumer goods.
  • Learn how a total workflow sample prep approach including SRC digestion can improve a lab’s sample throughput, quality of results, cost structure, and safety.

Who Should Attend

  • Anyone performing or overseeing elemental analysis in any application area
  • Lab directors
  • Lab managers/supervisors
  • Researchers
  • Chemists/analysts
  • Technicians/research assistants
  • QC/QA managers

Event Schedule

Half-day session, 11:00 am — 2:00 pm ET
11:00 am Virtual Workshop introduction – Shannon Stolz, Spectroscopy

11:05 am Overview of Single Reaction Chamber (SRC) Microwave Digestion Technology
Giulio Colnaghi, Milestone
The introduction of single reaction chamber technology has been a bona fide game-changer in sample digestion for elemental analysis. SRC is fundamentally different from traditional microwave systems, as the microwave cavity is the reactor and conventional closed vessels have been replaced by simple and inexpensive racks and vials with loose-fitting caps. This design, which is compatible with any reagent, provides higher temperature and pressure capabilities critical for hard-to-digest samples and for achieving lower detection limits, while it offers an increased productivity and lower cost per sample.

The most recent generation of SRC instrumentation takes the benefits of SRC a step further by offering even greater sample capacity and throughput, higher quality results, simplified workflow, and lower total operating costs.

11:45 am Application of SRC Digestion to Food Samples
Mirco Rossetti, Milestone
Trace metal analysis is performed for food samples to ensure compliance with legal requirements and regulations and is a critical step in consumer safety testing. The determination of analyte concentrations in food matrices is not an easy task and several factors should be considered to minimize the uncertainty in sample preparation and to achieve the required detection limits.

SRC technology offers a new way of digesting food samples, minimizing blanks and providing an interference-free solution for analysis. Simplified operation and reduced operator time ensure increased productivity without compromising digestion quality. In addition, SRC fits perfectly into the unique total sample preparation workflow, which is designed to address the challenges along the path from sample to analysis.

12:15 pm Application of SRC Digestion to Advanced Materials
Gianpaolo Rota, Milestone
Today, advanced materials are widely used in many areas such as energy and industrial production; their use in new types of batteries is a perfect example. The elemental composition of these materials is critical as it defines their properties, quality, and performance. These materials are often designed to be durable and resist chemical attack. Achieving complete digestion is therefore complex and requires extreme digestion conditions. Traditional digestion approaches are often limited in terms of maximum temperature, pressure, and time.

SRC technology opens a new way of dealing with difficult-to-digest samples, making it possible to achieve higher temperatures and pressures, maintain them reliably over a longer time, and reduce the stress on the digestion vessels, thereby increasing their lifetime and lowering analysis costs.

12:45 pm Application of SRC Digestion to Mining and Geochemistry
Eric Farrell, Milestone
Elemental characterization of geological and mining materials can be a particularly challenging application. These sample matrices by their nature tend to require complex mixtures of acid chemistries to digest completely, and a digestion platform capable of withstanding the temperatures, pressures, and reagents used to process these samples. Typical samples commonly analyzed include rocks, ores, zircons, or other complex inorganic matrices.

The latest-generation SRC technology takes advantage of special chemically resistant materials that allow the use of complex acid mixtures without fear of corrosion or contamination that can affect analytical results. It also provides higher temperature and pressure capabilities critical for hard-to-digest samples and accommodates higher sample masses, allowing for lower detection limits to be achieved.

1:15 pm Application of SRC Digestion to Consumer Products
Eric Farrell, Milestone
The testing of consumer goods is essential to ensure consumer safety, product quality, and compliance with local and international regulations. Elemental analysis of consumer products involves a wide range of samples, from cosmetics to toys, requiring a flexible digestion system. In addition, the organic nature of these samples leads to high reactivity and generates high pressures during the digestion process that need to be managed by the system.

SRC technology is a great ally in the digestion of consumer products as it allows the simultaneous digestion of different matrices and, thanks to its ability to handle high pressures and achieve the required digestion conditions, it can manage even very reactive samples.

1:45 pm Final Q&A


Giulio Colnaghi
Marketing Manager

Giulio Colnaghi has been working at Milestone since 2003. He is a chemist and started his career at Milestone as an application specialist, focusing on new method development and addressing specific needs in sample preparation. Later, he transitioned to Area Manager for most countries in Latin America and the eastern parts of Europe; then, for the U.S. since 2018, he has held the position of Marketing Manager at Milestone headquarters in Bergamo, Italy. During his career at Milestone, Giulio has worked with hundreds of laboratories and chemists to help them overcome daily challenges in elemental analysis by optimizing their workflow and methods. Today, Giulio aims to support laboratories worldwide to enhance their efficiency using state-of-the-art technologies.

Mirco Rossetti
Product Specialist

Mirco Rossetti obtained a high school diploma in chemistry at the Technical Institute. His passion for this subject then convinced him to enroll at Milan University to further study chemistry. After a year’s long project in collaboration with a foreign university, he also graduated with a degree in chemical sciences. His working experience began in a contract testing lab and as a chemical analyst in a pharmaceutical packaging quality control lab. He then joined Milestone as an application specialist, mainly focused on the digestion, clean chemistry, and ashing lines. Over the past 5 years, Mirco has obtained deep experience with applications through travelling for seminars, trainings, and performing demonstrations.

Gianpaolo Rota
Product Manager

Gianpaolo Rota has been an application chemist at Milestone for over 15 years. Thanks to continuous collaboration with laboratories and universities located all over the world, he has gained substantial expertise in sample preparation for elemental analysis over the course of his career. His specialization pertains to the use of Milestone’s microwave-based instrumentation line that is dedicated to sample digestion, which includes both rotor-based systems and single reaction chamber (SRC) technology. He is also one of the company’s experts for its Clean Chemistry products that are used to reduce trace element contamination in samples and reagents. In addition to developing new sample prep application methods, Gianpaolo participates in international fairs and conferences, organizes training classes focused on sample preparation, and provides ready support to elemental analysis laboratories.

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