Eco-Analytica Laboratories

North-West University, South Africa

Potchefstroom Campus

About Us

Eco Analytica is a laboratory of the Centre for Water Sciences and Management in the Faculty of Natural Science at the North-West University.

About

What We Do

Eco Analytica is equipped with modern facilities and operated by well trained staff providing specific analytical services to various sectors:

  • Private individuals
  • Agriculture industries
  • Mining industries
  • Cut flower industries
  • Greenhouse horticulture industries
  • Environmental consulting industries
  • Research projects in the NWU
Because of the constantly growing environmental problems, we close the gap by updating the range of analysis, techniques and equipment. Requests for new tests will be carefully considered but only implemented if certain criteria are met. Should a client request a test not presently performed by the laboratory it will be referred where possible with the client’s knowledge.

Analyses

The types of analyses that the laboratory performs can broadly be categorised into soils, water and mineralogic.

Analyses

Soils

  • Complete 1:2 water extract analysis with or without P-Bray
  • 1:1,5 Water extract analysis (analysing water soluble elements in potting mediums)
  • pH H2O and KCL
  • Chemical (ammonium acetate extract) analysis (analysing the potentially available elements)
  • Mechanical analysis(measuring the sand, silt and clay content of the soil)
  • Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC)
  • Saturated EC
  • EDTA exchangeable elements
  • Enzymes in soil

Water

  • Water analysis (the same 17 elements that are being analysed on the 1:2 or 1,5 water extract are also analysed on water samples)
  • Quantitative heavy metals
  • Anions
  • Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH)
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH)
  • HPLC analysis of Natural Organic Matter (NOM) fractions of water
  • Bacteriological

Mineralogic

  • The PANalytical X’Pert Pro (XRD) instrument uses broad range identification to characterize the crystal structure of crystalline materials. Typical applications include qualitative phase identification and semi-quantitative and quantification analysis refinement using the Rietveld technique. The X’Pert Pro in combination with automatic identification software gives accurate and reliable results of unknown phases in minutes.
  • The PANalytical Axios X-ray fluorescence (XRF) instrument gives accurate, quantitative multi-elemental results. Samples are analyzed using WROXI (Wide range Oxides) analysis and trace elemental analysis.

Accuracy

Selected soil tests are frequently subjected to quality control schemes from Wageningen. Of utmost importance is the fact that we also take part in a quality control scheme operated by our clients. All these measurements enable us to compare with the world’s best laboratories.

Sampling

The most important aspect of sampling is that the sample taken should be representative of the whole.

Sampling

Soils

  • In a homogeneous field 10 sub-samples per hectare should be taken to a depth of 0– 30 cm, mix thoroughly to obtain a composite sample.
  • Place in a clean, labelled bag and send 500g to the laboratory.

Water

  • A volume of 250ml is required. Fill the plastic bottle 100% (no air between the lid and the water).
  • Irrigation water: Collect the sample just before the fertiliser is added.
  • Send to the laboratory as soon as possible.
  • For bacteriological testing, let the water run a while before collection in a bottle washed with soap and thoroughly rinsed with hot salt water.
  • Store sample in a cool place.

Other Considerations

  • Use clean bags and/or containers.
  • Never expose samples to heat or direct sunlight.
  • Use plastic bottles for water samples.
  • Do not dry out soil and/or substrate samples.
  • Take to the laboratory as soon as possible.
  • Samples must be labelled clearly.

Meet Our Team

Our Team

Yvonne Visagie

Terina Vermeulen

Dr. Misha De Beer

Johan Hendriks