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Chemistry International
Vol. 24, No. 5
September 2002


Highlights from Pure and Applied Chemistry

Information Essential for Characterizing a Flow-Based Analytical System (IUPAC Technical Report)

by Elias A.G. Zagatto, Jacobus F. van Staden, Nelson Maniasso, Raluca I. Stefan, and Graham D. Marshall
Pure and Applied Chemistry, Vol. 74, No. 4, pp. 585-592 (2002)

Terminology related to classification and definition of analytical methods based on flowing media, as well as terms describing the flow-based analytical procedure or system and its components have been presented in previous publications, including Pure and Applied Chemistry and the "Orange Book," 3rd edition. However, a literature survey reveals that a number of such analytical procedures and/or related instrumentation are only partially described. As a proper description of any methodology is essential, it is important to complement the earlier recommendations by taking into account the recent progress in flow analysis. The objective of this report is to provide guidelines for characterizing a flow analyzer and/or related flow-based methods, emphasizing the minimum but adequate information that should be included in scientific or technical reports. Aspects more related to chromatographic procedures are not considered.

According to the report, for a complete description of a flow system, the following elements should be considered and described: flow pattern (technique), stream parameters, sample introduction (with possibility of reagent introduction), manifold, sample processing, and detection. The report also describes the following important performance parameters of a flow-based procedure: sampling rate, analytical characteristics, robustness, and portability.

This report should benefit practitioners and developers by permitting normalized proposals to be presented in the field of flow analysis. The authors intend to use this report to prepare a checklist that will lead to a protocol for reporting results and systems in flow analysis, which would result in the development of systems that are more consistently designed.



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