Appendix E

Corning 2655-00 Digital Flame Phometer



This instrument is a clinical flame photometer. It was designed to provide very rapid moderately accurate (1-2%) readings from clinical samples like blood, sweat and tears with the occasional lot of urine. It was designed for routine operation with little training. The clinical design parameters limit its ease of use in non clinical setting where values nm ay be outside the range of the instrument. With some attention to detail in sample preparation it's use can be broadened to encompass the animal physiology lab.  This unit is a single chanel, low temperature flame fhotometer for the determination of Na K Li and Ca. It has been fitted with a lineizer module which electronically straightens the calibration curve and permits single poin calibrations.

The controls and indicators

Power On (10)
an LED which is illuminated when the instrument is on
Flame On (11)
an LED which is illuminated when the flame is alight
Blank (5)
control used to set the display to zero while aspirating a blank solution die plain dilutant solution
Fine (5) and Course (4) - These two controls are used to set the display to an appropriate concentration reading while aspirating a standard solution. The Course control is a four position rotary switch and the fine is a ten turn potentiometer.
Fuel (4)
This control provides a fine adjustment of the fuel flow and enables the optimum flame conditions to be set for each element.
Na K Ca (1)
This three position slide lever selects the correct filter for the element to be determined. When used with alternate filter types the appropriate label is attached along side the default element.
Decimal (8)
This touch control, located adjacent to the digital display, is used to select the decimal point, eg using the decimal push-button to select the decimal point , a reading of 1000 will be displayed as 100.0. This affects the display only the sensitivity of the instrument Power - This rocker switch turns the a.c. power supply on and off. When switched on power will be provided to the instrument and its accessories and an automatic ignition sequence will be initiated. When switched off the flame is extinguished and the power to the instrument and its accessories is cut off.

Initial adjustments

Omit this section if the instrument is already operating

Check to be certain that the gas and air supply lines are securely attached to the instrument.

Turn on the gas supply at the tank and verify that the tank is providing 30 psi. Turn the gas supply back off for now.

Turn on the air supply (lab air tap on the bench) and adjust r at the rear of the instrument until the air pressure gage indicates 12 psi.

Verify that the waste water waste water "U" tube is filled with water. Fill it if the level is low. See figure 3 for the location of the U tube.

Turn the fuel control fully clockwise to the closed position, but do not force it. This control is a precision assembly that will be irrevocably damaged by rough handling.

Open the fuel control 9 turns (counterclockwise)

Start up

Omit this section if the instrument is already operating

Depress the power switch on the front panel. The LED will light and an ignition sequence will commence.

Recheck and readjust the air pressure regulator on the rear panel until the gage reads 12 psi.

Turn on the fuel at the source

Important:: If the flame on LED has not illuminated before the end of the ignition cycle, switch off and wait 60 seconds. Then with out adjusting the fuel control switch on again to initiate another cycle.

If ignition fails again, open the fuel control 1 additional turn and retry. You may repeat this procedure until ignition occurs but under no circumstances should you open the fuel control more than 4 additional turns (to 13 turns) or explosive concentrations of gas may accumulate.

Switch to the ion of interest by sliding the selection lever indicate Na, K or Ca. Make sure that the drainage water-trap is full by adding distilled water from a squeeze bottle until it can be seen running out of the overflow tube.

Insert the nebulizer tube into a beaker containing at least 100 ml of dilutant and continue to aspirate the dilutant for 15 minutes while the instrument warms up. Accuracy is achieved only after a 15 minute warm up.


Stock standard solutions are prepared, and subsequently diluted to working standard concentrations. This usually involves several weighings initially, but makes available substantial quantities of stock solutions which need only simple dilution to produce working standards. As this is time consuming, we will use Corning prepared standard stocks to prepare all of the working standards.

Standard stock solutions

The use of deionized type I water is required. Analytical-grade chemicals only must be used. The primary standards provided are  as follows

Working standards - Caution working standard dilutions are made with type I deionized water not Corning diluent

Immediately before use, working standards are prepared by diluting the stock standards above with distilled water to produce a 10mM working standard. (299.9 ppm for Na and 399.0 for K) One hundred ml will serve the entire class, so check each others calculations and make up a single batch for each ion. Remember that you need to set the value 10.0 (using the calibration dials) while the sample is asperating

Presentation standards - Caution all dilutions are made with Corning diluent not water.

It is critical to remember that both your samples and this working standard must be diluted 1:200 (25 ul stock in 5000 ul diluent immediately before aspirating it into the flame. Full strength working standards or blood samples can not be read and they will will contaminate the aspirator. The blank working standard is pure dilutant with neither sodium or potassium added serves as the 0 mM blank for adjusting the 0 value of the instrument. Although working stock solutions will keep for about six months at 4∫ C, it is not recommended. Working standards should be held for no more than a week, nor made up in quantities of more than 500 ml.

Routine precautions

(NOTE You really need to have some idea of your expected values to get your dilutions correct.  You should dilute your unknowns so that they are close to 10.0 mM)

Walter I. Hatch
August 21, 2005