Comparison of value assigned forensic alcohol in water reference materials

Project Description

The intercomparison is part of the EMPIR 16RPT02 ALCOREF project 'Certified forensic alcohol reference materials' which aims to develop certified ethanol in water reference materials for the calibration of evidential breath alcohol analysers.
Besides the ALCOREF institutes, other NMIs/DIs that deliver measurement services for forensic alcohol in water reference materials through one or more value-assigned CRMs are invited to participate. Participants will send their (candidate) CRMs to the coordinating laboratory (LNE) where they will be measured by GC-IDMS under repeatable conditions.
Statistical analysis of results will be performed with the approach used in CCQM-K79 'Comparison of value-assigned CRMs and PT materials: Ethanol in Aqueous Matrix'.

List of participating partners is not yet complete. More EURAMET and CCQM OAWG institutes will be invited.


Progress Report 2021-04-21

The accurate quantification of ethanol in water is essential for forensic and commercial applications such as blood and breath alcohol testing and characterization of alcoholic beverages.

The intercomparison EURAMET.QM-S13 is part of a capacity building project named ALCOREF “Certified forensic alcohol reference materials”  that is running within the European Metrology Programm for Innovation and Research (EMPIR). The project was designed to allow European NMIs to work together to strengthen forensic alcohol reference materials metrology infrastructure; provide knowledge transfer to scientists developing capabilities in this area; and enable NMIs to provide reference materials for the calibration and type approval of evidential breath alcohol analysers.

The intercomparison should allow project partners and other interested National Metrology Institutes (NMIs) and Designated Institutes (DIs) that have developed capabilities for forensic alcohol in water reference materials to demonstrate the comparability of their measurement services. The study plan was agreed by EURAMET Subcommittee Bio- and Organic Analysis (SCBOA) and CCQM OAWG in February and April 2019, respectively. NMIs/DIs that deliver measurement services for forensic alcohol in water reference materials through one or more value-assigned Certified Reference Materials (CRMs) were invited to participate in this comparison. This comparison will allow NMIs participating to demonstrate the compatibility of the capabilities and services they have established in their laboratories. This comparison was presented to OAWG members to reach more participants but in order to make the measurements under repeatability conditions; the total number of participants was limited to 14 including 10 from the ALCOREF project. In addition, the comparison may be used to demonstrate the compatibility of laboratory capabilities to assign the mass fraction of single polar organic analytes in aqueous solutions.

Participation in this comparison will be accomplished by providing the Measurement Laboratory with certified ethanol in water reference materials or candidate certified reference materials that their institutions had value-assigned, kept in storage, or shipped to customers.

The Draft A report is actually discussed at OAWG level.


Progress Report 2020-03-10

The study protocol was officially approved by CCQM OAWG, and the comparison was registered as key comparison EURAMET.QM-S13 in the BIPM key comparison database. A formal call for participation was released in August 2019 by CCQM-OAWG.
Participation in this comparison has been accomplished by providing the coordinating Laboratory certified ethanol in water reference materials or candidate certified reference materials that their institutions had value-assigned, kept in storage, or shipped to customers.
All comparison measurements were done at LNE by DI-GC/MS under fidelity conditions.
By the end of September 2019, LNE had received 24 CRMs from 14 NMIs with reference values ranging from 207 to 5 030 mg/kg and uncertainties ranging from 0.1 to 6.5 %.
LNE did the analysis by end of Nov 2019. The first results were presented at the EURAMET TC-MC SCOA meeting in February 2020. Statistical analysis and the report are in progress.

Subjects
Metrology in Chemistry (MC)
Coordinating Institute
LNE (France)
Further Partners
NIST (USA)
NMISA (South Africa)
INMA (Argentina)
NMSIA (Australia)