For instruments using the electrical sensing zone sizing/counting technique
(Coulter Principle), it is imperative that the dispersion electrolyte be free
of particles. Even electrolyte from a newly opened vessel often contains particle
concentrations too high for critical analyses.
During analysis, these particles degrade the quality of the analysis. The more
sensitive the analyzer, the more pronounced the effect could be. The removal
of unwanted particles is, therefore, required to obtain the most reliable particle
analysis data possible.
ElectroPrep is capable of producing a constant supply of filtered electrolyte.
The device can ensure that even recycled electrolyte is free of particles. Having
the absolute minimum number of background particles is particularly important
with low-concentration measurements as even a small amount of electrolyte contamination
can affect results. For electrolytes in which sample particles readily disperse
(e.g. alumina in saline water) without having to employ an additional dispersing
agent, the waste liquid can simply be recirculated back through the ElectroPrep
and used again and again. In typical usage under these conditions, one preparation
of electrolyte will last several months before the filter cartridge has to be
replaced. This is also true of saturated electrolytes. Using the ElectroPrep,
it is also possible for a laboratory to produce its own electrolyte that is
free of particles at significant savings.
The ElectroPrep recirculates electrolyte through a filter cartridge that retains
particles greater than 0.1 – 0.2 micrometers in diameter. The device can
be utilized with either aqueous or organic electrolytes by selecting the proper
filter cartridge. The electrolyte is housed in a 9-liter (2 gallon) container
and circulates at a rate up to 0.5 L/min. The ElectroPrep produces a supply
of clean electrolyte that ensures a low baseline when conducting particle analyses
while also saving a considerable amount on new electrolyte and waste handling.