A chain is no stronger than its weakest link; in the same way, thorough sampling is highly decisive in determining the quality of the analytical results. NILU is strongly aware of this issue, and as such has sampling as its own research field.
Many questions must be addressed if sampling is to be successful:
- What issues do we wish to examine with our tests?
- For which components should analyses be conducted?
- What type of material should be sampled, and from where?
- What kind of material can the sample be stored in, and how much of the sample do you need to conduct the required analyses?
These are just a few examples of the most important issues related to sampling. It is thus quite important that the laboratory be involved early in the planning process for all projects that involve taking measurements.
Passive and active samplers
NILU has developed its own sampling instruments, both passive and active, for various air components, and for the sampling of precipitation.
Development of analytical methods
The development of analytical methods is a separate research field at NILU, and is often an integral part of broader research projects that involve analysing new kinds of samples or identifying new compounds.
One of the major challenges posed by the analysis of environmental samples is often the low levels of the components being analysed. This places extremely high demands on analytical techniques and the methods to be used.
NILU has an assemblage of advanced instruments, and can currently conduct analyses for a wide range of pollutants.