Huffman Laboratories Inc. Welcome
Our competencies include:
  • Chemical Analysis
  • Problem Solving
  • Research Consultation
  • Method Development
  • Instrument Development

Examples of Our Work

Read below for examples of the work we provide. This page also includes some applications that pertain to a broad range of customers.

 

GEOLOGICAL/MINING:

  • American mining companies are actively expanding the scope of existing operations in the western United States. Our clients in this field come to us to facilitate the time and resource intensive permitting process, asking us to provide timely and defensible analytical results. We have analyzed thousands of solid core, soil and water samples from mineralized regions for total concentrations of major, minor and trace elements in order to define subsurface mineralogy. Potential mine drainage from the tailings from different ore sectors has been examined via SPLP (synthetic precipitation leach procedure) analyses for a wide variety of metals. In addition, column leach experiment samples have been analyzed for metal and other solution parameters to allow for sophisticated modeling and predictive geochemistry. Huffman Hazen Labs got these project based on our ability to provide accurate data at trace concentrations much lower than other labs. Our low detection limits, as well as decades of reliable analytical service and consultation to the geochemical and mining industry helped us acquire these projects.

 

PILOT PLANT SUPPORT:

  • Huffman Hazen Labs provides analytical support for numerous pilot plant process studies in several industries. These studies typically involve the complete elemental analysis of all stages of a given process. Reliable analytical data is required to obtain accurate material recovery and mass balance. We take great pride in our history of facilitating the development of economically, socially and environmentally important industry and infrastructure at the pilot plant phase of their development.

 

PHARMACEUTICALS:

  • While we are not primarily a drug testing laboratory, we have provided production, development, and research support services for both large and small pharmaceutical companies for most of our 78 year history.  We have performed analyses such as elemental microanalyses to help validate complex organic molecule stoichiometries.  We have also performed ultra-trace metals analyses in order to identify and quantify residual metal catalyst carry-over and/or other inorganic contamination.  We have provided component analyses for novel drug delivery mechanisms, such as loading of chemotherapy agents on carbon coated iron nanoparticles for highly focused magnetic targeting.  We developed  a high precision assay method for quantification of an inorganic additive in a prescription skin treatment product, including writing the protocol into final form for FDA approval.  We routinely provide component degradation analyses for accelerated aging studies for research and manufacturing QC purposes.  By working closely with both process engineers and quality assurance personnel from pharmaceutical manufacturing clients, we have been able to analyze out-of-spec products for causative contaminants, and then help trace the source of those contaminants to specific raw material lots or production hardware.  We provide ongoing analyses of production reagents and products for molecular imaging, such as positron emission tomography (PET) scans, and do so in time-critical fashion.
  • Huffman Hazen Labs has also been working with a firm that produces a supplement that contains a specific form of iron.  We are providing them with ongoing quality control analyses to ensure the potency of the key ingredient in their product.

 

PETROLEUM INDUSTRY:

  • The analytical support provided to the petroleum industry by Huffman Hazen Labs has grown to encompass a very wide range of analyses and services as the definition of the industry has dramatically expanded over recent years.  Within the conventional industry built around liquid fossil fuel hydrocarbons, we provide analyses for exploration, well evaluation, production and refining, as well as industrial processes such as conversion to specialty chemicals and other products.  We analyze large numbers of crude oils for concentrations of forms of nitrogen and metals that poison catalysts or present other production or environmental contamination problems.  On a broader scale, we provide a wide range of measurements for production and extraction of fuels from oil shale, tar sands, and biomass conversion sources from algae to common and exotic plant species.  Scientists and engineers from our national laboratories, universities, and private industry count on the reliability of our analyses for evaluation and direction in their energy production research programs.  Our expertise in oil shale analyses has allowed us to provide data and research support for both resource evaluation and sophisticated extraction technologies from shale deposits around the world, as well as downstream environmental monitoring.  Pyrolysis product and by-product analyses from lab to production scale are another example of our research support expertise.  In short, elemental analyses of superior reliability were the backbone of our founding nearly 80 years ago.  These remain a central focus to our petroleum industry clients today, both as the industry and our capabilities have continued to expand to new and exciting dimensions of analytical requirements.

 

MEDICAL DEVICES:

  • We have been helping a medical device manufacturer troubleshoot a process problem that is causing their products to fail lifetime studies.  We have identified the culprit for them — it appears that their products are undergoing corrosion caused by chloride contamination.  The chloride contamination appears to be introduced during their assembly processes, based on raw materials analysis we have also performed for them.  We are currently working closely with this client to help them identify/eliminate the source of the chloride contamination in their process.
  • Several current clients produce hydroxyapatite from biomass or synthetic sources for use as substitute bone and/or tooth material for osteopathic and dental implant applications in humans.  Huffman Hazen Labs has developed and published methods for trace analyses of residual biological constituents in these materials.  We are also providing these clients with ongoing trace organic and metallic elemental analyses for research as well as routine production monitoring and quality assurance applications.

 

RENEWABLE ENERGY:

  • We work with an organization that is actively involved in a variety of algal biofuels projects. We are providing them with very precise nitrogen analyses that helps them determine the protein concentration of their biomass. This critical data allows them to iteratively derive a “conversion factor” that directly calculates an accurate protein concentration quickly and easily, based solely on the nitrogen concentration data we provide them. This simplifies an otherwise cumbersome and time-consuming method of determining the algae concentration directly.

 

ALTERNATIVE FUELS:

  • Huffman Hazen Labs has a long history of involvement in supporting research into alternative fuels. Studies in oil shale and coal conversion has expanded into a wide area of biofuels from waste to algae.  Calorific content (heating value) is an important parameter in many studies.  Moisture and ash (content and composition) are often of critical importance in understanding the nature and performance of these fuels.  Our ability to directly determine oxygen (rather than by difference) generally provides more reliable values and serves as validation of the rest of the elemental analysis.

 

NATIONAL LABORATORIES:

  • Huffman Hazen Labs has been working with U. S. National Laboratories for many years, beginning with our involvement in the Manhattan Project.  Since then, we have worked with most of the National Labs, typically in a research support capacity.  We have provided high accuracy elemental measurements over concentration ranges covering as much as twelve orders of magnitude for the majority of elements on the periodic chart.  This includes analyses of radioactive elements and surrogates in filters and other solids, analyses of algal and vegetal biomass and their process derivatives for energy related parameters, and fuel pyrolysis products for organic and inorganic constituents.  We have provided ongoing analyses to multiple National Labs for instrument development, environmental monitoring and waste disposal, evaluating remobilization of decades old contaminants by forest fires and other natural phenomena, and stoichiometry verification for synthesized chemical products.