As the name implies, a CHN Analyzer is a scientific instrument which can determine the carbon (C), hydrogen (H), and nitrogen (N) elemental concentrations in a given sample. Most CHN systems also have the capability to measure Sulfur (S) and oxygen (O). Such analyzers usually use very small quantities, many times around 1 to 3 mg of the sample. Updated CHN systems can now use upwards of 1 g of material if need be.
Analytically, the analyzer uses a combustion process to oxidize substances into simple compounds which are then quantified by thermal conductivity detection or infrared spectroscopy. Separation of the combusted elemental products is performed by adsorption/desorption or chromatography (restricted to smaller sample size) techniques.
- USGS: Geochemical Sediment Analysis Procedures
- C-H-N ANALYZER: Sophisticated Analytical Instruments Facility (SAIF)
- Aarhus University: Elemental Analysis Facility
- University of Ottawa: Quantitative Analysis Techniques
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