X'Press 1/2016

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X'Press 1/2016

Our periodical X'Press, the customers' voice, contains news items, reports of trips and conferences and customer stories.

The theme in this first edition of the new year is trust. Trust, in the meaning of ‘relying on’ or ‘having faith in’ is from all times and is the base of all relationships in personal and business life.
PANalytical’s systems usually serve one aspect of ‘trust’: they enable the user to trust the quality of his products. Our stories about banah UK Ltd., SoilCares and the Indian Hetero Drugs company show how these customers use our equipment for quality control. Does the newly developed cement contain the desired components, what is the exact composition of the analyzed soil and do the produced drugs only contain the specified compounds in their effective form – these are only some of the questions which can be answered by employing X-ray diffraction or X-ray fluorescence.

PANalytical makes its mark in geopolymer cement with banah UK Limited

Cement is economic, efficient, versatile and durable, and widely acknowledged as THE building material. However, cement manufacture causes environmental impacts at many stages of the process. Quarrying can damage the countryside and emits airborne pollution such as dust, gases, noise and vibration. The traditional cement industry is one of the largest producers of CO2 globally. This is partly due to the burning of calcium carbonate, producing lime and carbon dioxide. The other part is the high use of energy which is a potential CO2 contribution if the energy production has involved emission of CO2. Reducing CO2 emission is one of the biggest challenges for today’s construction industry.

banah UK Limited, based near Coleraine in Northern Ireland, has taken up this challenge and following an intensive five-year R&D program, has developed a material that is considered to be an improvement over traditional cement both in its intrinsic properties and it’s lower carbon footprint. It is based on a so-called geopolymer and it mimics natural rock formations, such as basalt.

Known also as an alkali activated cement, it consists of two components, a powder banahCEM(A) and a liquid activator banahCEM(B). The resulting geopolymer cement is heat-resistant; it does not spall and tolerates much greater temperatures than ordinary Portland cement. Additionally it has increased acid and sulfate resistance and a rapid strength gain during setting.

The long-term durability of banahCEM is a direct consequence of its replication of natural rock formations. Furthermore, banahCEM is environmentally friendly. To produce it, 80% of carbon emissions are eliminated when compared to ordinary Portland cement. The excavation of raw materials for banahCEM has at least 60 % less impact on the environment and it uses waste materials or byproducts from existing industries.

banah UK purchased a PANalytical X’Pert³ Powder diffractometer at the beginning of 2015. The measurements reveal information about the crystallographic structure, composition and properties of the material. The system is an essential part of the company’s quality control system and also an important tool in the research and development of new products.

Andrew McIntosh (Director R & D ), Dr. Susan Lawther (Geologist), Terry Soteriou (PANalytical)

It has helped scientists at banah UK Limited to make informed decisions in their pilot plant, and subsequently, for their main plant, which is currently entering the commissioning phase and should be in production by mid-April.

banah UK Limited, with the help of PANalytical, are cementing the future in building materials.

The expert training and advice from PANalytical has proven invaluable for us as we start out in the complicated field of clay mineral analysis. Andrew McIntosh, Director of R&D, banah UK Ltd


Cement has been around since the Roman times, when they used a mixture of volcanic ash (pozzolana) and burnt lime to make ‘opus caementicium’ or Roman concrete.

At present the most common type of cement is ordinary Portland cement, made by heating limestone (calcium carbonate, CaCO3) with other materials such as clay up to 1450 °C to form calcium alumosilicates and other cementitious compounds. The resulting ‘clinker’ is then ground with a small amount of gypsum into ‘ordinary Portland cement’.

Other cement types contain additions of blast furnace slag, fly ash or limestone. Volcanic ash is still used, when cheaply available. Geopolymer cement relies on minimally processed natural materials or industrial byproducts to significantly reduce its carbon footprint.

banah UK Ltd

banah UK Ltd was established in 2008 with one clear aim: to find better ways of building. In 2013 the company received additional investments of over £ 5 million which is being used to create a new state-of-the-art R&D and manufacturing plant near Coleraine, Co Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

banah UK Ltd. currently employs 13 staff, with the potential to create up to 10 new jobs in the next two years.

banah UK Limited is committed to continue research & development in the field of geopolymers and sustainable building materials and to expanding, developing and improving its products.

Ready for a new challenge

Gjalt Kuiperes, recently installed PANalytical regional manager of the APAC region, about ‘How to trust’

Trust actually starts with the basic principles we as employees
have all agreed to and adhere to in the strictest sense of the word.
Gjalt Kuiperes, PANalytical regional manager of the APAC region

Download X'Press 1/2016 at the bottom of this page to read the full article.

PDF analysis: A twenty-first century revolution

We celebrated the Bragg centenary in 2014 and this year we celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Rietveld. These anniversaries remind us that the twentieth century marked some real advances towards the understanding of the ordered crystalline phase in materials. However, there are still many unanswered questions about the regions in solids that are not ordered. Professor Andrew Goodwin and his group in the Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory of Oxford University, UK, make it their purpose to understand and exploit the ways in which atomic disorder gives rise to a variety of interesting physical properties in crystalline and amorphous solids of both commercial and scientific importance.

Andrew Goodwin (left) with student Harry Geddes

Disorder occurs in all materials. For example disorder occurs around defects in crystals and at the grain boundaries of polycrystalline materials. At any one moment in time a single crystal will have some atoms displaced from their average lattice position: this kind of disorder is vital for phase transformations to occur. Some materials simply don’t form crystals and exist as glasses or amorphous solids.

In all of these cases, whilst the material or region under study may not have a perfect crystalline lattice, certain atom-to-atom distances are repeatedly maintained. These atom-atom correlations can be studied and provide useful information about materials and their structures.

One of the methods that Andrew Goodwin’s group uses to investigate disorder is pair distribution function (PDF) analysis. Andrew was PANalytical’s first customer to receive a GaliPIX3D detector for laboratory X-ray PDF measurements on an Empyrean difffractometer. Already the group has published papers using X-ray PDF data measured on this diffractometer [1].

Andrew is also chair of the user working group helping to develop a dedicated X-ray PDF beam line (XPDF) at the Diamond synchrotron facility, UK. He is clearly excited about the new synchrotron facility, which will be the first dedicated X-ray PDF beam line in Europe.

Andrew says it is a win-win situation to have access to a lab diffractometer in addition to beam time at a synchrotron facility: “Because we have a dedicated X-ray PDF instrument in the lab, we will use our synchrotron beam time more wisely. With an in-house instrument,users can go to the synchrotron better informed about their samples and with a clearer vision of what they want to achieve”.

Prof. Goodwin’s research group covers a large range of projects some of which include PDF studies. For example, student Harry Geddes is using X-ray PDF analysis to look at amorphous pharmaceuticals. In the absence of a crystalline fingerprint from Bragg peaks, the PDF method may, in the future, provide the basis for a standardized approach to the identification and quality control of some of the newest drugs in which we will place our trust.

[1] D. Umeyama, N. P. Funnell, M. J. Cliffe, J. A. Hill, A. L. Goodwin, Y. Hijikata, T. Itakura, T. Okubo, S. Horike and S. Kitagawa, Chemical Communications 51, 12728-12731 (2015); N. P. Funnell, Q. Wang, L. Connor, M. G. Tucker, D. O’Hare and A. L. Goodwin, Nanoscale 6, 8032-8036 (2014); M. J. Cliffe, W. Wan, X. Zou, P. A. Chater, A. K. Kleppe, M. G. Tucker, H. Wilhelm, N. P. Funnell, F.-X. Coudert and A. L. Goodwin, Nature Communications 5, 4176-(2014).

PDF analysis

PDF analysis is becoming adopted for research in an ever increasing number of scientific areas where an understanding of disorder is important, for example:
• Phase transformations
• The absorption and desorption of gases
• The transport of ions in the anodes of batteries
• The electro-optical and magnetic properties of many advanced materials
• The trapping of methane and heavy metals in clays
• The discovery and characterization of drugs based on amorphous materials
• The biomineralization of amorphous species in the formation of bone and tooth enamel

The front of the Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory, with the central blue hexagonal plaque celebrating Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin

The Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory in Oxford University

(UK) is the biggest school of inorganic chemistry in the UK and one of the biggest in the world. Whilst Prof. Goodwin and his group of about 20 researchers work with stateof-the-art equipment on the latest scientific challenges, their lab is found in a department with a long history of scientific enquiry.

It was home to 6 Nobel Laureates including Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1964: ‘for her determinations by X-ray techniques of the structures of important biochemical substances’. It is an inspiring setting in which to explore the frontiers of chemistry in the twenty-first century.

Trusted soil quality from SoilCares

One of mankind’s problems is the continuous growth of the world population, which is expected to hit 9 billion people in 2050. In order to fill the stomachs of that growing population a 70% increase in food production will be required. SoilCares firmly believes that a healthy local/regional food production will make food available worldwide. The company aims at enabling farmers all over the world to improve their yields by providing them with easy-to-use soil testing solutions leading to fertilizer and crop recommendations.

Lab-in-a-box is one of these testing solutions: a very compact laboratory based on sensor technology to perform soil tests. This laboratory can be installed in the boot of a car or on a farm. The Lab-in-a-box uses two different techniques to analyze macro- and micronutrients in the soil: a mid-infrared (MIR) sensor and X-ray fluorescence (XRF), provided by PANalytical’s Epsilon 1 benchtop spectrometer.

With this Lab-in-a-box soil tests are very easy to perform; people without any laboratory experience can analyze soil samples after a short training session. The results of this Lab-in-a-box are as accurate as those of traditional wet-chemical soil analysis.

The test results of the Lab-in-a-box are analyzed and compared to a unique significant database, which has been developed and is permanently updated by SoilCares’ research team.

This world soil database consists of soil samples that have been taken from field studies all over the world and have been dried and shipped to SoilCares’ Golden Standard Laboratory in Wageningen (the Netherlands).

In this laboratory the samples are analyzed both with traditional wet chemistry and with sensors and thereafter stored in the database. Spectra obtained from the Lab-in-a-box sensors are compared to the spectra in the database using intelligent software solutions and result in values of pH, macro- and micro-nutrients and customizable fertilizer advice.

The cooperation with PANalytical is of strategic importance to SoilCares. The Epsilon 1 XRF spectrometer meets all of SoilCares’ specifications: it is very compact, able to quickly and precisely measure micro-nutrients and it is readily available.

SoilCares plans to target Ukraine, Russia, East Africa and the USA in the coming years and expects to sell at least 20 of their compact labs in 2016.


Performing in a high-tech business as SoilCares is and developing game-changing products
for new markets means that having reliable partners who understand our needs, are very important.
We appreciate our cooperation with PANalytical and we are looking forward to a very positive future together.
Robbert Ausems, international sales manager, SoilCares

SoilCares is an initiative of Dutch Sprouts holding, which aims to help farmers around the world to increase their yield by easy and affordable measuring and monitoring soil and crop quality.

SoilCares has developed easy-touse soil testing solutions, accessible to all farmers. By combining the latest agricultural know-how with high-quality analytical experience and expertise the company aims to improve agricultural and horticultural procedures and thus increase the farmers’ yields.

A team of 50 specialists, residing in Wageningen (the Netherlands), Nairobi
(Kenya) and Istanbul (Turkey) is resolved to empower farmers all over the world.

Advanced X-ray analysis for Hetero Drugs Limited R&D center

Hetero, a research-driven pharmaceutical company, is committed to the development, manufacturing and marketing of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), intermediates and finished dosages. Today, Hetero is recognized as a world leader in process chemistry, API manufacturing, formulation development, manufacturing and commercialization.

Hetero has around 18 state-of-theart manufacturing facilities, which are cGMP-compliant and have been approved by various Ministries of Health and regulatory authorities like US FDA, WHO, MCC (South Africa), MHRA (UK), TGA (Australia), PMDA (Japan) and KFDA (Korea). The company has a large product portfolio of over 200 products across a wide range of therapeutic categories.

Hetero has a strong global presence in over 120 countries and has been offering API’s and generic formulations to partners across the globe. While Hetero is committed towards leveraging its expertise in the area of pharmaceuticals, it is also focusing on biotechnology and on developing new chemical entities (NCEs) in select therapeutic areas.

A state-of-the-art R&D facility of the company headed by director Dr. Kura Ratnakar Reddy is located at its headquarters in Hyderabad, India. Here 500 scientists are working on the development of generic drugs and new chemical entities. A large analytical lab, headed by Dr. Mamilla Yogeshwar Reddy, comprises all types of instruments for the analysis of pharma samples.

Precise characterization of the products is of utmost importance in the pharmaceutical industry. A slight variation of the molecular structure (polymorphism) can result in very different effects of a drug. X-ray diffraction (XRD) helps to identify such differences in a non-destructive way. To check the presence of toxic elements in any drug, X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry is the method of choice as it is fast, reproducible, reliable and adopted by USP chapter <735>.

While the Hetero Group has been using these methods for many years, the latest advancements in analytical solutions have prompted them to go for a PANalytical Empyrean X-ray diffractometer. Its Bragg-BrentanoHD high-definition optics along with exchangeable Soller slits provide better peak symmetry, while implementation of an elliptical mirror yields reproducible high-intensity diffraction data. Additionally an in situ slurry flow cell enables on-line monitoring of polymorph growth. The PIXcel detector offers the highest sensitivity and excellent resolution and an Anton Paar CHC Cryo & Humidity Chamber helps with non-ambient in situ measurements.

Quantitative estimation of heavy elements in some of their drugs with XRF spectrometry has also come up as a recommended complementary technique for elemental analysis under USP chapter <735>. Compared to earlier techniques like AAS or ICP-MS, XRF stands out as the most convenient method as there is hardly any requirement of sample preparation and no need for additional chemicals. As Hetero Drugs Limited is convinced of the superior analytical results they decided to be the pioneer institution to use XRF as its analytical tool in the Indian pharmaceutical industry.

A slight variation of the molecular structure (polymorphism) can result in very different effects of a drug.
X-ray diffraction (XRD) helps to identify such differences.
Dr. Mamilla Yogeshwar Reddy, Associate Vice President Analytical Research and Development


Hetero is one of India’s leading generic pharmaceutical companies and is the world’s largest global producer of anti-retroviral drugs for the treatment of HIV/AIDS. Founded in 1993 by Dr. BPS Reddy, Hetero has grown rapidly in over two decades, based on a tradition of excellence, a strong-minded focus on cost-effective integration and with a deep sense of commitment towards making lifesaving medicines accessible to patients worldwide.

Hetero, a privately-owned company, is recognized as one of the top 10 companies in the Indian pharmaceutical industry with an annual turnover of US$ 1.2 billion. With a dedication and support of its 15,000 employees, Hetero continues its commitment to manufacture highquality drugs and save millions of lives across the world.

PANalytical’s Remote Assistance Suite Always in control of your Axios/ Zetium system

For owners of PANalytical’s Axios and Zetium X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometers the newest generation of secure and easy remote support solutions is now available. With this fast and efficient tool, help from our team is just a few clicks away.

The new Remote Assistance Suite comprises remote hard- and software support as well as support with your applications. If you need help you simply start our remote desktop tool to establish a completely secure connection from your system to our specialist. Each session is initiated with a one-time password and fully encrypted.

Additionally the Remote Assistance Suite offers a System Health Evaluator and System Certification for an evaluation of your system’s performance. With the help of our specialists you quickly know whether your system is working in peak condition. The Remote Assistance Suite comes with Super Q 5.3 for Axios systems and from Super Q 6.0F for Zetium systems. Both software versions are Windows 10 compliant. All systems with Super Q version 4.0 or higher can be upgraded to benefit from the Remote Assistance Suite features.

Contact your local representative for your personal software upgrade.