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Explanation of Analytical Instruments

Supercritical Fluid Chromatograph (SFC)

Picture:Supercritical Fluid Chromatograph (SFC)

Usually, when a substance that is gaseous or liquid exceeds certain conditions as to temperature and pressure, known as its critical point, it becomes a supercritical fluid, in which gas and liquid states are indistinguishable. Supercritical fluids display superb properties in terms of enabling specific components to be extracted and separated from a mixture.
This device separates and extracts components one by one from a mixture composed of many such components, by means of carbon dioxide that has been made into a supercritical fluid. It then determines the content of these components.

  • It is used, for example, to separate and determine the quantity of aromatic substance components of petroleum products, and to extract piperine from black pepper.

Viscoelasticity Measuring Instrument

Picture:Viscoelasticity Measuring Instrument

This device determines the degree of viscosity (fluidity at a given temperature) and elasticity (the property a substance has of returning to its original shape after having been distorted through application of force) of, for example, plastics.

  • It is used in the analysis of Customs Schedule 34 wax, for example.

Amino Nitrogen Analyzer

Picture:Amino Nitrogen Analyzer

Proteins are a kind of high polymer, in which about 20 kinds of amino acids form thousand or tens of thousand of bonds. By means of enzymes, etc., they are resolved into peptones, with dozens or hundreds of amino acid bonds, and amino acids, which are the smallest units. Proteins and peptones do not react when nitrous acid is added; but when it is added to amino acids, the chemical reaction releases nitrogen, which is one of their constituent elements. Accordingly, this device uses that property to determine the nitrogen content derived from the amino acids that are contained in samples.

  • It is used in the analysis of protein decomposition products (peptones), concentrated juice, and so on.

Oxygen Transmission Rate Measurement System

Picture:Oxygen Transmission Rate Measurement System

This system determines the oxygen transmission rate by exposing one side of a plastic film, etc. to oxygen, and measuring the oxygen transmitted by means of a sensor.

  • It is used to determine whether or not the customs classification Airtight Containers applies to film for packaging.

Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometer (ICP-AES)

Picture:Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometer (ICP-AES)

When a solution in which metallic elements are dissolved is sprayed into an argon plasma (which has been induced, by means of high frequency waves, to discharge electricity), each element emits light of a characteristic wavelength, and the intensity of the emission has a proportional relationship to the concentration of that element. This device uses these properties to determine the identity and content of elements, by detecting the wavelength of light and the intensity of its emission.

  • It is used to determine the quantity of each element in metals.

Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer (IR-MS)

Picture:Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer (IR-MS)

All elements have what are called "isotopes"; although these are the same element, they have different masses. Among these, those whose atomic weights do not change even over long periods of time are called "stable isotopes".
Stable isotopes of elements (carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen) are always included in the structures of organic and other compounds. Their weight proportions (isotopic ratio) vary according to such factors as place of origin.
This device detects, by means of a mass spectrometer, carbon dioxide (mass, 44) and nitrogen (mass, 28), as well as carbon dioxide (mass 45 and 46) and nitrogen (mass 29 and 30) containing stable isotopes, that are produced when samples are burned, and computes the isotopic ratios of carbon and nitrogen from the signal strength thereof.

  • It is used to identify the raw materials of sugars and other organic compounds, as well as differentiating between those that are natural and those that are artificial, identifying their place of origin, and so on.

CHN-Elemental Analyzer

Picture:CHN-Elemental Analyzer

In general, organic substances are composed of carbon, nitrogen, and hydrogen. When these are burned, they generate carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and water vapor, respectively. This device detects the carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and water vapor that are generated, and computes the carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen content thereby.

  • It is used to determine the compositions (component ratios) of plastics, pharmaceuticals, etc.

Specific Surface Area Measuring Instrument

Picture:Specific Surface Area Measuring Instrument

In general, when substances are activated, the specific surface area (a substance's surface area per unit of weight) is notably larger than that of the substance's original specific surface area, and its absorbency notably greater.
This device induces a sample to absorb nitrogen gas at an extremely low temperature (-196°C), and then to release the nitrogen gas through re-warming. It determines the amount of gas absorbed and released, as well as the sample's surface area, and then calculates the sample's specific surface area from the relational expression between these and the weight of the sample.

  • It is used, for example, to determine whether or not carbon has been activated.

High performance liquid chromatography equipment

Picture:High Performance Liquid Chromatography Equipment

Equipment that measures the content of constituents after samples that contain multiple constituents are dissolved in a liquid, and the constituents are then separated by making use of the differences in their affinities for the stationary phase (column).

  • Used to measure the sugar content of juice, the content of psychotropic agents in pharmaceuticals, etc.

Gas chromatography equipment

Picture:Gas Chromatography Equipment

Equipment that measures the content of constituents after samples that contain multiple constituents are heated until they are converted to a gaseous state, and the constituents are separated by making use of the differences in their affinities for the stationary phase (column).

  • Used in the analysis of oils, fats, petroleum, aromatics, pharmaceuticals, etc.

Infrared spectrophotometer

Picture:Infrared Spectrophotometer

Each substance has the property of absorbing a specific wavelength of light (infrared radiation), and the wavelength of the absorbed light is inherent in its chemical structure. Infrared spectrometers use this property; by reflecting (infrared) light off of a substance, they measure the wavelength of the (infrared) light it absorbs.

  • They are used to identify types of organic chemicals, narcotics, plastics, etc.

DNA analytic equipment

Picture:DNA Analytic Equipment

The genetic information of organisms is recorded according to the sequence (base sequence) of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in their cells. There are parts of the base sequence that are nearly the same for all creatures, from microorganisms to human beings, and other parts that are specific to each species. This equipment selectively extracts the portions of the base sequence that differ among organisms, and distinguishes the species of organism involved.

  • It is used to distinguish between species of tuna, whale, salmon, clams, etc.

Mass Spectrometer (MS)

Picture:Mass Spectrometer (MS)

The fragments resulting from the breakdown of chemical structures when substances are bombarded by electrons is specific to each substance. Using this property, mass spectrographs measure the weight (mass) of the fragments, thus identifying the substance in question.

  • They are used to identify the pharmaceutical components of pills, etc.

Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) equipment

Picture:Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Equipment

The elements (carbon, hydrogen, etc.) of which substances are composed have the property of resonating (vibrating due to external energy) with electromagnetic wave of a specific frequency. Using this property, NMR equipment identifies the chemical structures of substances by generating electromagnetic waves of various frequencies, and determining which of these frequencies the substance resonates with.

  • NMR is used to identify the chemical structures of pharmaceuticals, narcotics, plastics, etc.

Rubber testing equipment

Picture:Rubber Testing Equipment

Equipment that tests the elasticity that is a property of rubber.

  • It is used to determine whether a substance is HS Chpter 40 synthetic rubber or Chapter 39 synthetic high polymer.

X-ray Diffractometer

Picture:X-ray Diffractometer

Samples are irradiated with x-rays, and when the angle of the sample is changed, the x-rays are reflected at a specific angle according to the crystalline structure of the substance. Using this property, the equipment determines the crystalline structure of substances by measuring the angles at which x-rays are reflected.

  • It is used in component analysis of metals, minerals, etc.

X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometer

Picture:X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometer

Equipment that identifies the elements a substance contains by detecting the specific x-rays that elements emit (characteristic x-rays) when samples are irradiated with x-rays.

  • Used to identify which elements are present in metals, minerals, etc.

Scanning electron microscope

Picture:Scanning Electron Microscope

Equipment that directs electron beams at samples, and produces an image using differences in the volume of reflected electron beams. Electron microscopes employ a process wherein the magnification varies according to the area irradiated with electron beams, and the magnification is higher than with light-optic microscope (samples can be magnified up to 300,000x), so that surfaces can be examined in greater detail.

  • Used to observe the surfaces of minerals, fibers, leather, etc. in detail.

Fully automatic nitrogen/protein rapid measurement equipment

Picture:Fully Automatic Nitrogen/Protein Rapid Measurement Equipment

Proteins are one of the 3 major types of nutrients found in food, and they are compounds that contain nitrogen. This equipment gauges the protein content by measuring the amount of nitrogen present.

  • It is used to determine the protein content of dairy products and animal feed, for example.