EKG Consulting Ltd opened its new laboratory in the city of Järvenpää, Finland, in 2020. The laboratory specializes in the highest precision of material research and emissions testing.
Who would most benefit from EKG Consulting’s laboratory research?
Erik Sandell, the Head of Laboratory at EKG Consulting, has a straightforward answer: “Any company who is manufacturing products to use in the household, houses, buildings or near your skin. Of course, many consumers are interested in the chemicals in any product they buy or use.”
The EKG Consulting Lab is led by Erik Sandell, an industry veteran with over 35 years of experience under his belt. He is considered to be one of the leading material scientists in Europe.
In recent years, he has represented his home country, as the Finnish lab expert in certified reference materials for European Commission Benefit-Cost Ratio (BCR) evaluation. He is highly skilled in Research and Development (R&D), Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Technical Training, and Mass Spectrometry.
Interestingly, Erik Sandell holds a patent on papermaking from Birch using Formic Acid, an ingredient that is key in the production of Xylitol, a sweetener that is actually beneficial to dental health.
We asked Mr. Sandell to give a small introduction to the EKG Laboratory and its testing procedures.
Studying any material to the core
“We do VOC studies with GC-MS [Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry], and extractions when necessary,” explains Erik Sandell.
GC-MS pairs two powerful analytical techniques: gas chromatography (GC) and mass spectrometry (MS). GC is a method used to separate individual chemical compounds, and MS identifies each chemical, thus providing a stronger base for analysis.
GC-MS has a broad range of applications, such as environmental analysis, identifying unknown samples, and even forensic investigations.
Many consider GC-MC to be the “gold standard” of material science for its high precision: it can identify samples even from a tiny amount of materials.
Detecting toxins with SPME
For extractions, the EKG Consulting laboratory uses “Solid-Phase Micro-Extraction” technology, most commonly known as SPME.
SPME is an innovative, solvent-free sample prep technology that is fast, economical, and versatile. It involves the use of a fiber coated with an extracting phase, such as a liquid (polymer) or a solid (sorbent), or a combination of these. In the laboratory, you insert the SPME fiber directly into the chromatograph for desorption and analysis.
This technique has many applications including product testing, detecting flavors, fragrances, and toxins.
EKG Consulting Lab Can Test a Variety of Products and Materials
Since its launch, EKG Consulting Lab has run tests on several product types. Among its clients are furniture producers, beds, mattresses, shelves, construction materials, and paints.
Some clients include:
- AURO Natural Paints: In our study, we proved Airfresh wall paint to live up to its name and significantly improve indoor air quality.
- Natural Building Company: We studied EcoCocon, the straw-based construction block and insulation material, especially regarding how it could better influence great air quality.
- Lundia: We studied the iconic furniture manufacturer’s Classic shelf to find how different paints and surface finishing could improve the effect on indoor air quality
- Aalto Haitek: We studied the innovative manufacturer of wood-based construction materials’ Wave layered timber (WLT®), and proved it to be additive-free with no chemicals found other than what you’d find naturally in the wood.
So far, testing has heavily revolved around construction materials, surface finishing, and furniture, but testing is not limited to these. You can also study anything you wear, such as clothing, cosmetics, and even wearable tech.
Currently, EKG Consulting is serving clients primarily in the Nordics but is expanding fast to the rest of the European markets.
Interested in material testing? Contact EKG Consulting’s Key Account Manager Anssi Ylisaukko-oja.