R & D

ISC SCIENCE takes actively part in investigation projects of national and international character, in order to back innovative development and technological transfer between University and the Company.

Development of a production process of a certified reference material for the determination of trace elements in drinking water according to ISO 17034
for the trace element determination in drinking water according to the ISO 17034 standard.

Innovative Solutions in Chemistry S.L. has been the beneficiary of the grant awarded to the project with reference.IDE/2020/000444, in the framework of the call for grants aimed at Asturian companies for the development of R&D Projects in the Principality of Asturias granted by the Government of the Principality of Asturias through IDEPA and the Science, Technology and Innovation Plan (PCTI) 2018-2022, as well as by the European Union through the FEDER..

At national level, the control of drinking water is carried out within the framework of EU Directive 98/83/EC and RD 140/2003 and its subsequent amendment RD 902/2018, which establishes in paragraph three of article 1 the need for test methods for the control of drinking water to comply with the requirements of the UNE-EN ISO/IEC 17025 standard, which establishes the need to have reference materials suitable for the intended use for the verification, validation and control of test methods. ENAC establishes in its metrological traceability policy the need for traceable reference materials produced by organisations accredited under ISO 17034. Therefore, the development of metal reference materials produced under an accredited system in accordance with ISO 17034 criteria is essential in the process of production and control of water for human consumption.

In Spain there are only three companies accredited under ISO 17034 for the production of reference materials, among which is Innovative Solutions in Chemistry, S.L. (ISC-Science). In addition, it is worth noting the limited number of European companies accredited under ISO 17034 in European countries such as France, Germany, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, and Ireland. Currently, there are only four drinking waters certified for elemental content marketed by these producers. These waters do not provide certified values for all the certified elements required by the companies that monitor the healthiness of drinking water in many Asturian and Spanish municipalities (such as Ag, Sn, Ti, Si). In addition, some of them do not provide certified values for Be, Li, Se and Tl.

During the development of the project, analytical procedures were developed and validated for the determination of metals in drinking water by ICP-MS in accordance with the UNE-EN ISO/IEC 17025:2017 standard and their compliance with the criteria of the UNE-EN ISO 17034:2017 standard was assessed in terms of bias (accuracy), precision and uncertainty. These methods were used to produce a small batch of drinking water samples that were candidates for certified reference material for a given characteristic (concentrations of the elements at the parametric levels of RD 140/2003), with which both homogeneity studies and short-term (transport) and long-term stability studies were carried out, with the aim of determining the instability of the material's property value under specific storage conditions (temperature, humidity, light, magnetic fields, etc.). The production process for manufacturing certified clean water reference materials was successfully accredited through ENAC and has been included in the scope of accreditation (accreditation no. 3/PMR004).

ISC-Science is currently the only company at national level accredited by ENAC as a Producer of Reference Materials for clean water. In view of the good results obtained in the present project, ISC aims to produce a new certified reference material for drinking water already adapted to the new Royal Decree 3/2023 of 10 January, which establishes the technical-sanitary criteria for the quality of drinking water, its control and supply.


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