WIT Press

Developing A New Certified Reference Material Of Brown Algae For Trace Metal Analysis


Free (open access)

Paper DOI






Page Range

167 - 174




469 kb


A. Santoro, M. Ricci, M. F. Tumba-Tshilumba & A. Held


A certified reference material (CRM) of brown algae is being developed at the Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM), European Commission, Joint Research Centre, in order to supply academic and industrial analysts with a new tool useful in the environmental analysis of trace metals. Sixty kg of raw brown algae (species Fucus vesiculosus) was collected from two different sites in Galway (Ireland) and processed according to ISO 34 and ISO 35. A large amount of milled and sieved (at <125 μm) algae material was bottled and subjected to detailed homogeneity and stability tests with regard to the parameters to be certified. The between bottle homogeneity of the total element content of As, Cd, Cu, Hg, Pb, Se and Zn was assessed via a dedicated test, which confirmed the suitable homogeneity of the candidate CRM. The short term stability of the material when stored at high temperature (60°C) for up to 4 weeks was also considered, confirming no degradation under the conditions applied. Milled and sieved algae was also checked for water content by using Karl- Fischer titration and several oven temperatures (from 85°C to 110°C) in order to establish the most reliable water determination method for the material. Along with these studies, a long term stability isochronous study and the characterisation of the total element content for the above-mentioned metals by using an inter-laboratory comparison approach are in progress, so as to finalise production and release onto the market the brown algae CRM for trace metal analysis. Keywords: brown algae, trace metals, certified reference material, fucus vesiculosus, environmental analysis.


brown algae, trace metals, certified reference material, fucus vesiculosus, environmental analysis