Currently I am comparing the mercury concentrations given by the gas standard calibrator unit with the traceable NIST 3133 CRM (certified reference material), in order to establish the best conditions in which the gas calibrator units can be used. The training I had at the Jožef Štefan Institute in Ljubljana, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Milena Horvat and co-supervisor Dr. Warren Corns from PS Analytical Ltd has given me the knowledge and confidence to carry out this task.

Shortly after arriving in Slovenia, I had the opportunity to see it´s beautiful landscapes, while also having a look into some of the interest locations for mercury research. I found out about the old mercury mine in Idrija and the cement plant in Anhovo, the latter being subject to atmospheric mercury analysis: gaseous elemental mercury (GEM), gaseous oxidised mercury (GOM) and particle-bound mercury (PBM) being monitored.

Having in mind that GEM is used to calibrate the devices analysing these mercury species, we took a look into the GEM calibration units that are commonly used for the calibration purpose. These devices use the known Dumarey equation which describes the mercury saturation in air at different temperatures. Even though the equation has been established a few decades ago, there are still some discrepancies reported, regarding how well the mercury concentration calculated through the Dumarey equation matches the real concentration at the given temperatures.

By Teodor-Daniel Andron (ESR 10)