Students of the University of Debrecen will have to opportunity to use state-of-the art equipment and appliances in the future in what is called Atomic Spectroscopy Laboratory.
The equipment installed in the upgraded laboratory of Department of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry of the University of Debrecen can be used for the element analysis of primarily environmental (soil, surface, sub-surface, and sediment) samples and for the analysis of animal and human samples (blood serum and tissues), food and pharmaceutical products. This investment of roughly HUF 200 million has been implemented through the contributions of the Hungarian representatives of the world’s leading brands of laboratory equipment and supply.
“It is a great pleasure for us that these companies and corporations have recognized the need to support our department, faculty, and university. I can only hope that this recognition will become more widespread and there will be more and more actors on the industrial scene with the awareness of the fact that there is top-quality work carried out at the University of Debrecen,” said Ákos Pintér, Dean of the Faculty of a Science and Technology.
Head of the Department of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry hosting the laboratory, said that the researchers would use the equipment for the purposes of element analysis. They will be able to determine the presence of as many as 80 elements of the periodic table in practically any (solid or liquid) sample. They have already conducted analyses of the materials found on the surface of the dust collector of Debrecen’s combined cycle power station as well as of the environmental effects of fireworks on the leaves of trees.
“The unique feature of this laboratory is that the instructors, researchers, and students of the faculty can use cutting-edge appliances coming from the major international producers of lab equipment, including ones that are not yet available commercially. Thus, the researchers at the University of Debrecen will also participate in the development of these devices by sharing their experience acquired during the testing phase, said István Fábián.
The Department of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry and Novo-Lab Kft. started using their jointly established laboratory in September 2013. The lab was equipped with machinery supplied by Agilent Technologies, one of the largest producers of precision lab equipment. A part of the appliances received in 2013 (used for flame atomic absorption spectrometry, graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry, microwave plasma atomic emission spectrometry, and inductively coupled plasma optic emission spectrometry) have been replaced with upgraded versions since that point in time. Thus, the university can continuously test the most recently developed pieces of equipment coming from the producer in the framework of their cooperation, as a consequence of which the students can learn about and use the most advanced technologies. The most recent time period has also witnessed an improvement in the machine park used for the preparation of samples to be analyzed, for example, through the acquisition of a Milestone microwave digestion unit and acid distillation equipment.
“We have considered this cooperation from the very beginning to be part of an investment for us. By getting ahold of the most advanced technology available on the market, we provide a possibility for the scientists and engineering experts of the future to work with state-of-the-art equipment and get the highest levels of benefit out of this for the academic advancement of the department. At the same time, we can be the recipients of technical support which not only gives us a competitive edge but it is also beneficial for the entire industry as well, said István Gáspár, Managing Director of Novo-Lab Kft.
For cutting-edge equipment to be used properly, you also need the right sort of laboratory environment. Kvalitex Kft., the Hungarian representative of Merci, a Czech producer of lab furniture, has donated lab and office desks, chemistry cupboards and weighing tables in the value of HUF 20 million to the institution.
Managing Director of Kvalitex Kft., recalled how he had presented his first paper at a conference in the Chemistry Building as a novice chemist and that, when he learned about the plans to refurbish the laboratory later, he thought that this would be an opportunity that could genuinely help chemistry instruction at the university.
The new and upgraded Atomic Spectroscopy Laboratory will be used by students majoring in chemistry, chemical engineering, pharmacy, and environmental studies alike during the courses of studies they complete at the university.