Sparks (775) 355-0202 | Elko (775) 777-9933 | Las Vegas (702) 475-8899
Sparks (775) 355-0202
Elko (775) 777-9933
Las Vegas (702) 475-8899
Western Environmental
Testing Laboratory
Life of a Sample: Part 3, Distillation and Digestion
Life of a Sample: Part 3, Distillation and Digestion

Our ongoing series Life of a Sample explores what happens behind the scenes at WETLAB.  If you missed part one and two, check them out here!

The next step for a sample at WETLAB is distillation and digestion, which takes two days.  Lab technicians start with organizing samples by hold times and due dates, ensuring timely and accurate analysis. Then, we look through historical data to determine if any dilutions are usually needed.  All samples are then organized, the sample preparation log is meticulously filled out, and reagents and standard solutions are gathered.  Then the distillation or digestion block is heated, and once the block reaches the correct temperature, the samples are added.  The process is carefully watched, making sure that no samples boil over, and that the bubbles don’t stop during distillation.  Once the timer stops, the samples are removed from the hot block and placed in clean specimen cups.  Up next, samples move to analysis.

Digestion Rack

Samples being prepared for metals digestion.

Distillation Block

Hot blocks distilling samples.