Canadian start-up ColdBlock Technologies Inc has announced testing results of its innovative ColdBlock Digestion technology performed by the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC). ColdBlock Digestion is a new and innovative sample digestion technology that dissolves solid matter into an aqueous solution using focused short-wave infrared radiation to energise sample particles directly and a ColdBlock to create a condensation effect. The results are based on the first phase of a two-part real-world evaluation completed as part of the Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP).
The evaluation team, led by Dr Simon Jackson and Dr Paul Gammon from the GSC, included geo-chemists, research scientists and laboratory technicians. The GSC validated that this unique balance of heating and cooling delivers very rapid digestion rates (approximately 10 minutes) with excellent recoveries of base metals, precious metals, rare earth elements from diverse mineral matrices.
The technology required less acid compared to conventional methods and notably avoided the use of perchloric acid and hydrofluoric acid, taking laboratory safety to a higher level. It was also demonstrated that the technology improved efficiency with simple-to-use and programmable methods for laboratories. The testing results from the GSC “demonstrate that ColdBlock Digestion offers laboratories a new alternative to perform sample digestions with augmented productivity and safety. In going forward, the GSC is moving to phase-two of testing that will examine ColdBlock Digestion technology in an Automated Workstation that will further elevate efficiency and productivity.”
ColdBlock Digestion Quick Facts:
• Unlike current sample digestion methods, ColdBlock’s technology uses short-wave infrared lamp emitters
to heat sample particles directly and a ColdBlock to create a condensation effect
• Produces highly accurate and reproducible sample digestions
• Very rapid digestions can be performed in as little as 10 minutes for difficult to digest samples
• Offers superior safety by avoiding perchloric acid and hydrofluoric acid
• Easily automated to benefit mining operations and commercial laboratories
“After six years of research and development, we are thrilled to participate in the BCIP program and have the Geological Survey of Canada independently validate our technology. This is a high bar for innovation testing and today’s announcement shows that we have a promising technology that is ready to make a positive impact on laboratories in the mining industry. We aspire to become a leading sample digestion technology that is applicable to many industries including mining, environmental, food and agriculture,” said Nick Kuryluk, CEO, ColdBlock Technologies.
“From our initial evaluation, the ColdBlock digestion technology appears to hold tremendous potential. We were able to replicate ColdBlock’s results on our first attempt and since then have started to evaluate the technology for both partial and total digestions of geological media, the results of which are very encouraging,” said Dr Simon Jackson, Research Scientist, Geological Survey of Canada.