Use of Colorimeters in Different Industries

Reviewed by Anurag Mishra (Sr. Technical Consultant)

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Why Colorimeters are used?

In the analytical chemistry, the colorimetric process is used for the purpose of determining the presence of colored compounds in a given solution. The technique is very efficient in analyzing the concentration of specific compounds which helps in studying the potency and quality of the solution. The instrument that is used for performing the colorimetric processes, an instrument called colorimeter is used. The instrument helps in analyzing the absorbance of a solution for a particular wavelength of light.


How colorimeters are used?

When a colorimeter is used in the laboratory for testing procedures, then there is a need for preparing different solutions including a reference or standard solution with a known concentration to which the test solutions are compared. When a colorimeter is used, it is first calibrated by using the reference solution in a cuvette. This cuvette is placed in the colorimeter, and the absorption of the solutions is measured. As the concentration of the reference solution is known, it is possible to analyze whether the instrument is calibrated or not. 

Types of Colorimeters

There are two types of colorimeters that are used in scientific laboratories that are

  • Absorption Colorimeters
  • Colorimetric Assays

Absorption Colorimeters – These colorimeters are mainly used for testing the concentration of solutions used in the scientific laboratories and chemical process of industries. The absorption colorimeter is used at a specific wavelength of light and is useful in accurately analyzing the concentration of the chemical solutions.

Colorimetric Assays – These colorimeters use some reagent that experiences major changes in the color when they are present with an analyte. There are mainly used for testing the biochemical samples to detect the presence of any enzymes, antibodies, hormones, certain compounds and some other analytes. For example, the para-nitrophenyl phosphate turns into yellow products when it is present with alkaline Phosphate enzyme.

How Colorimeters are Designed?

The colorimeter basically has six different components that contribute to providing the best colorimetric analysis of the products.

  1. Light sources- There is a light source that is provided with the instrument that is normally a low voltage filament lamp.
  2. There is an adjustable aperture provided with the instrument.
  3. There is a set of colored filters provided with every colorimeter which can be configured according to the requirements of the test specimen.
  4. A cuvette is also used with the instrument that helps in holding the specimen solution.
  5. A detector that is used for detecting the transmitted light from the test specimen.
  6. A meter is used for displaying the output that is released from the detector.

In addition to these components, a colorimeter can also have some additional components that can be optional such as voltage regulator that helps in protecting the device from the voltage fluctuation in the power supply. There also might be provided a secondary path for light, cuvette and a detector. This helps in comparing the solutions with a blank tested at the same time. This is good for improving the accuracy of the test producer.

Colorimeters are best in class color measuring that can be used for easy and effective colorimetric analysis of the test specimen with great accuracy and precision. For more information, consult our experts.

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