Single cell green algae reference materials with managed levels of heavy metals
Three batches of single cell green algal biomass have been produced as model substances for green biomass reference materials with the aim of arriving at three different concentration levels for selected heavy metals in the same matrix. The green algal biomass is produced in a water based culture medium in open and closed bioreactors. An outdoor open bioreactor technology was used to produce a batch of “natural level” algae as well as a batch with elevated levels of As, Cd, Cr, Hg, Ni, and Pb. A photoreactor constructed without metal parts and employing artificial light sources was used in a clean air environment with high purity chemicals to reduce heavy metal concentrations in the third batch of algal biomass. For the above elements, the depleted level material, with exception of Hg, showed about one order of magnitude lower concentration than the natural level, while concentrations in the enriched material were up to four orders of magnitude higher. Analysts can use these materials to sustain verification of calibration and analytical quality over the entire operational range of the analytical work.
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