A customer success story – Université de Paris

This story is about a customer in the field of academia who encountered an issue related to the analysis of volcanic ashes, which are known to be very variable and for which the composition must be known quickly.


The chemists working at the X-ray platform of the chemistry department of Université de Paris used press pellets to prepare their volcanic ashes for XRF analysis. However, in addition to having a granulometry and matrix effect that affected the results, this technique was time-consuming and involved a large number of samples.

They switched to the fusion technique in 2016 using LeNeo® instrument. Fusion allowed them to remove the granulometry/matrix effect. They gained accuracy, precision, and reproducibility in the XRF results. They were also able to retrieve some relevant information such as loss of ignition for their samples.

However, they found out that the 30 mm platinum mold that was initially used to produce the glass disks was not fully adapted to their needs. They needed a smaller mold to maximize the use of the volcanic ashes samples.


The customer reached out to Malvern Panalytical for customized platinum accessories and was provided with a 13 mm mold (requiring only 116 mg of the sample).


According to Mrs. Nowak, who is responsible for the X-ray platform and XRF analysis system at the chemistry department, they are now able to make over 500 analyses per year (compared to 0 in 2015) thanks to the technical support of Ivonne Cocca, who has been working at the platform since 2016 and who is now specialized in sample preparation by fusion.

The ROI stands in the fact that Malvern Panalytical experts in sample preparation provided the scientists working at the X-ray platform with a solution that analyzed volcanic ashes samples possible and reliable.

The smaller platinum mold also provides them with the desired results since it avoids an unnecessary loss. They can keep more of the samples for other techniques/areas of research interests and pursue their educational mission.

I like to work with Malvern Panalytical experts since they provide me with customized solutions that really make a difference in my lab. The staff is proactive and always willing to innovate to provide creative and clever solutions to obtain the desired outcomes

Sophie Nowak – Responsible for the X-ray platform at Université de Paris

Without fusion, it would have been simply impossible for us to properly analyze volcanic ashes

Sophie Nowak – Responsible for the X-ray platform at Université de Paris

Further reading