Standards and measurements for the environment
The laboratory activity deals with the development of primary methods to prepare reference gas mixtures for environmental pollutants and analytical methods to determine organic micropollutants in environmental matrices.
It is equipped with a facility to prepare gravimetric gas mixtures in 5-liter aluminum alloy cylinders: such facility is composed by a system to fill in and evacuate the cylinders and by an apparatus for high precision weighing. In addition to gravimetric preparation, a system to generate gas mixtures by dynamic dilutions by means of Mass Flow Controllers is also present. Moreover, the laboratory is provided with specific gas analysers for carbon oxides (NDIR) e nitrogen oxides (chemiluminescence) and with a Fourier transform infrared spectrometer (FTIR) equipped with a multiple path gas cell.
As for organic micropollutants determination, the laboratory is provided with both Soxhlet and accelerated solvent (ASE) extractors and a with a gas-chromatograph coupled with a single quadrupole mass spectrometer. A coulometric Karl Fischer titration system to assess the water content in pure compounds and solvents is also present.
The laboratory develops innovative devices for temperature measurement traceability, systems for calibrating thermometers - also in situ - and methods for characterising sensors in complex environmental conditions. Having direct connection and traceability to the primary standards, the laboratory disseminates best practise and studies dedicated procedures for the improvement of thermal measurements in the environment and in different applications for contact thermometry. Experiments in outdoor areas are also realised, in direct connection with the laboratory and coordinated by it, for the evaluation of thermal measurements uncertainties in the field and to support scientific research on cryosphere thermal properties.
In the laboratory, transportable climatic chambers are available for calibration and characterization of temperature and pressure sensors between - 30 °C and 60 °C and between 1 kPa and 110 kPa; also the EDDIE chamber (Earth Dynamics Direct Investigation Experiment) is available, which is able to simulate atmospheric conditions between - 40 °C and 50 °C, between 40 kPa and 101.325 kPa, generating wind up to 30 m/s.