Analysis Methods

SMS Analytical has an ever growing range of techniques and including various aspects of chromatography, spectroscopy as well as classic chemistry methods.


Examples include: Soxhlet Extraction, SPE (solid phase extraction), Millipore Filtration, ISO 5509 (prep for fatty acid profiles).



Examples include: Boiling range and profile of petroleum products, Identification of fatty acid methyl esters: animal and vegetable fats and oils. The principles of GC-MS as shown below:
GC-MS Schematic
GC-MS analysis of Oils, Lubricants, and Fire Debris

Perkin Elmer GC-MS

There are many examples of GC-MS use including the following:

  • Fire debris analysis – looking for accelerant traces using head-space vapour sampling
  • Determining the presence of ‘Smoke Taint’ compounds in foodstuffs such as vegetables.
  • Oil pollution analysis: CEN15522:2 2006
  • Nordtest methods

Also, the identification of trace components / contaminants in

  •  Packaging
  •  Polymeric foams
  •  Coolant system fluids

We have two GC-MS systems, one of which includes an auto-sampler providing 24/7 analysis when needed.


HPLC AnalysisThis is our first high performance liquid chromatography system (HPLC). It is currently using a UV detector and has a ternary gradient capability as well as a column oven thus providing high level of customised chromatographic conditions.

The HPLC allow SMS to provide additional methods include dyes in diesel fuels, Poly Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) in foods and can be further expanded with alternative detector modules (Fluorescence, Conductivity, etc. ) in the future.



Example include: Identification of middle distillate instability products, Analysis of lubricant additives, Analysis of phenolic antioxidants and phenols in aviation fuels.



Examples include: IP463 presence of phenalenes & phenalenones (sediment precursors) in middle distillates, UV transmission of chemicals including glycol and amines. Quantification of amines, alkanolamines and indoles.



InfraRed Analysis Using A Cary 630 FTIR

Cary 630 FTIR

Examination of a wide range of organic materials including polymer foams. Use of a new sensitive diamond ATR for very small sample quantities.



Examples include: Chloride – Mohr’s method, IP139: colorimetric method for total and strong acid numbers, total base no in light-coloured petroleum products, ISO660 Animal and vegetable fats and oils: Determination of acid value and acidity.



Examples include: pH, oxygen, PO4, Fe, Hardness, Carbonate Hardness, NH3, NH4, NO2, NO3 sub-ppm
Sulphate (BaCl2) and Silicate.



Optical Microscopy

We have our own microscope with a camera attachment so can characterise the morphology of samples. The following is a rust sample:

Optical Microscopy


Scanning Electron Microscopy With Energy Dispersive X-Ray (SEM)

We use Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive X-Ray to give approximate elemental composition. Apart from sample morphology we also use this to obtain an approximate elemental composition (like XRF, the caveat here is that this is dependent on the matrix and surface flatness).

Scanning Electron Microscropy With Energy Dispersive X-Ray

SEM analysis of 1mm square of surface

SEM-EDX elemental mapping

Elemental Mapping showing correlation between elements.