MA-3 Solo

The all-round talent among mercury analysers

The MA-3 Solo from NIC is a portable benchtop instrument for the measurement of total mercury in solid, liquid and gaseous samples.

MA-3 Solo – compact, economical and portable

The MA-3 Solo uses the technique of high temperature digestion followed by gold amalgamation and cold vapour atomic absorption spectroscopy (CVAAS). The unit does not require laboratory gases, it has built-in purification of laboratory air and can be operated independently of laboratory gases due to its optimised simple design. The unit uses ceramic sample boats as standard, which can be easily cleaned for reuse. The internal gas supply and reusable boats also keep operating costs low.

The robust MA-3 Solo is easy to use and offers a wide measuring range from 0 to 10,000 ng Hg absolute with short analysis times of 5 to 12 minutes. The system is designed for mobility and has ergonomic handles. It weighs only 13 kg, can be operated with standard voltage and requires a footprint the size of an A3 paper. The design concept makes the unit ideal for mobile use in the field or for use in mobile laboratories. It meets all the quality requirements for mercury measurements normally obtained in the laboratory and can therefore also be used normally as a benchtop instrument in the laboratory.

The use of a high-quality thermally stabilised Hg discharge lamp, which emits a very strong, stable emission at 253.7nm, eliminates the need for intensity-consuming optical filtering of the source. Two robust semiconductor detectors provide the quantification as well as the reference measurements, ensuring long life and trouble-free operation. Other systems use simple 50% transmission mirrors to redirect the light source, but this reduces intensity and therefore sensitivity. Instead, the MA-3 Solo uses high quality optical gratings to pass the full intensity through the sample cell and through the reference detector, providing superior sensitivity and stability.

MA-3 Solo

Figure 1: MA-3 solo

Key features

– Direct mercury analysis with internal gas supply

– Measurement in 5-12 minutes

– Cost effective and robust design

– Advanced optics for excellent sensitivity and stability

– Wide measuring range

– Compact, lightweight and portable/mobile

– Low running costs

– User-friendly software for easy operation, reporting and data storage

– Expandable to measure gas samples and digestion and water samples (reducing release)

Parameters / Elements

  • Mercury

Measuring method

– Weighing the sample onto a shuttle

– Insertion of the shuttle into the sample loading block and transfer into the furnace

– Thermal digestion of the sample and release of the contained mercury

– Separation of the matrix and collection of the mercury on a gold trap

– Pre-rinsing of the sample path through the detector cell

– Thermal release of the collected mercury and detection by AAS

– Automatic rinsing step

Industries and branches

– Environment

– Petrochemistry

– Energy

– Chemistry

– Medicine

– Food industry

– Heavy Industry

– Consumer goods

Use and applications

Determination of mercury in soil, sludge, fertiliser, feed, food, polymers, electronic parts (RoHS), biological tissue, medical samples, ores, coal, catalysts, waste, petroleum, crude oil, naphtha, waste oil, liquids, paint, blood, urine, water, air, room air, gases, digestion solutions, cosmetics, etc.

Standard methods

The MA-3 has full compliance with the following methods, among others (optional accessories may be required): USEPA 7473, ASTM D 6722, ASTM D 7623, UOP 1009, UOP 938-20, JIS K0102, USEPA 245.1, USEPA 245.2, USEPA 7470A, APHA 3112, EN 1483, ASTM D 5954, ISO 6978, JLPGA-S-07, EN 15411

For use in the petroleum industry, the MA-3 Solo has received its accreditation under UOP-938-20 for the analysis of petroleum samples, including crude oil, condensate and naphtha.

Product details


– Method: Combustion digestion

– Concentration on a mercury trap

– Detection: Cold vapour atomic absorption spectroscopy

– Measuring range: 0.002-10000 ng absolute

– Analysis time: 5-12 min

– Gas supply: Air

Software and use

The MA-3 solo is controlled by a simple control software that allows intuitive use. It offers fast commissioning, simple compilation of measurement sequences (real-time display of measurement times is also possible), easily visualised results, comprehensive reporting and numerous diagnostic and service tools.

Figure 2: Software

The modern software, running under Microsoft Windows, provides everything needed for simple and robust operation of the system in the laboratory or in mobile use, and continuously performs important diagnostic functions:

-monitoring of all heater temperatures

-flow rates

-valve circuits

and monitoring and control of all important voltages in the unit.

The software indicates problems and enables quick and easy troubleshooting for maximum availability and reliability. Permanent monitoring increases operational safety and simplifies and speeds up troubleshooting, minimising downtime for the user. The connection to the unit is made via USB.


The MA-3 solo can cover a wide range of samples with its accessories: Solids, liquids, gases and air.

– Accessories

o Kit for liquid samples

o Kit for gas samples/air samples


Consultation – Do you need further information?
Then please contact us by e-mail or telephone!