Microwave digestion is the recognised technique for the rapid solution of difficult-to-dissolve samples. The Sineo MASTER 40 Microwave Digestion System marketed in the UK by Analysco Ltd of Chipping Norton is designed for high sample throughput under high pressure dissolution conditions. Precise control of dissolution parameters is combined with a number of novel safety features and easier sample handling, all at a very attractive price.

Up to forty 70ml dissolution vessels can be loaded into the integrated sample rotor at one time and loaded into the microwave chamber using an ingenious loading trolley that not only makes light work of handling this bulky unit but also avoids direct operator contact with hot or pressurised sample vessels. The vessels are constructed of aviation-grade composite fibre material for mechanical strength with a coating of PFA for chemical inertness.

1800W of microwave power from two 1000W industrial magnetrons can generate a maximum in-vessel pressure up to 5MPa. Pressures up to 4MPa can be sustained for long periods, giving the potential to digest some organic samples up to 1.5g in weight without pre-treatment. Temperature and pressure in the vessels are continuously monitored and used to control microwave power via a rapid (1/200 sec) feedback system. A microwave homogenisation device is built into the sample rotor, giving even microwave power distribution across all the samples.

Special attention has been given to safety. The 6-layer steel spring-loaded outer door could contain the most violent explosion likely to be encountered, and the design of the sample rotor ensures effective containment of the vessels themselves. The vessels feature a dual over-pressure and blow-out system that allows controlled overpressure release while ensuring safety in the event of an explosion. The exhaust system can vent any escaping gases to the exterior or though a scrubber system.