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Invitation to Participate in Interlaboratory Study on Cellulose Nanomaterials

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Task Group 1 (TG 1, Cellulosic nanomaterials) is an advisory group within ISO/TC 6 (paper, board, and pulps) with the mandate of determining which standards to develop for cellulose nanomaterials (CNMs) and advising as to which working group within TC 6 should develop them. Our goal is to publish standard methods suitable for use with CNMs. Despite consisting mainly of cellulose (similarly to pulps), CNMs have very different forms, particle sizes, surface areas, and degrees of crystallinity, and may contain chemical modifications, all of which can change the sample preparation and measurement techniques needed to characterize them.

As a first step in this work, we are adapting the International Standard Methods:
  • ISO 12830—Determination of acid-soluble magnesium, calcium, manganese, iron, copper, sodium, and potassium;
  • ISO 1762—Determination of residue (ash) on ignition at 525 degrees C; and ISO 2144--Determination of residue (ash) on ignition at 900 degrees 
for use with cellulose nanomaterials. 

For each of these methods, a round robin inter-laboratory comparison (ILC) study must be performed to obtain reproducibility statistics that are a requirement in International Standard Methods. Modified versions of the above-listed protocols have been attached strictly for your information; they are not to be distributed outside of your organization. Please note that the protocols are subject to change and different versions may be provided at the beginning of the study itself.

An ILC is best done with the participation of as many laboratories as possible. According to TAPPI T 1200 sp-14 Interlaboratory evaluation of test methods to determine TAPPI repeatability and reproducibility, it is "highly desirable" that a minimum of eight laboratories participate, and the data absolutely cannot be based on results from fewer than five laboratories. As you can see, your participation is very important to us! 

Please note:
  • The acid-soluble metals protocol requires a muffle furnace for dry ashing, a microwave for wet digestion (optional), and an ICP-OES system for metals detection
  • The ash determination protocols require a muffle furnace.
If you agree to participate, the samples (four different cellulose nanomaterials) will be sent to you along with the measurement protocol(s), and the results expected, within a two-month period. Although the timeline has not been set at this point, the ILCs would likely be initiated during Q2 of this year.
  • The identity of ILC participants will remain strictly confidential
  • All participants will receive complete results of the ILC.
If you are interested in participating, please email or call Stephanie Beck at FPInnovations (contact information below), Interim Convernor of ISO TC/6 TG1, to let her know that you would like to participate in this study. Please indicate whether you would like to participate in either the acid-soluble metals or the ash determination ILC study, or both, by Feb. 10, 2017. Any suggestions for other laboratories to contact would also be highly appreciated.

Stephanie Beck, Ph.D.
Interim Convenor ISO/TC 6/TG 1
Scientist, FPInnovations

Colleen C. Walker, Ph.D.
Technical Director
Office:  +1 770-209-7349
Mobile: +1 770-846-0881

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