The International Platinum Group Metals Association (IPA) represents the worldwide leading mining, production and fabrication companies in the global platinum group metals (PGMs) industry. An Industry-wide challenge with platinum in the workplace is the allergenic nature of some platinum compounds; for example Pt (IV) hexachloro and Pt (II) tetrachloro complexes.
As part of a wider program to collaboratively study the occupational hygiene aspects of platinum compounds, the IPA, Health Research Group – Science Task Force (HSRG) would be interested in the development of techniques to quantify, or at least estimate, the concentrations of such compounds in a speciated manner in air samples taken from the workplace. These are taken by drawing air through a membrane filter. See for example www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/mdhs/pdfs/mdhs46-2.pdf. Given the normal sampling used and the current exposure limit, the technique would, as a starting point, be required to distinguish between say the Pt (II) and Pt(IV) chloro compounds mentioned above with only 1 ng of Pt on the filter (typically 15-30mm diameter). It is expected that stabilisation of species represents the major challenge for solution based approaches as elution of the platinum compounds from the filter will generally result in a re-equilibration of any platinum chloro species. Alternatively sensitivity for direct solid speciation is expected to be the major challenge.
You are invited to propose potential techniques capable of addressing this methodological need, which would be practicable to be performed within a reasonably sophisticated Industrial Hygiene analytical laboratory.
The best proposals, which are considered to be most likely to achieve a practical outcome, will receive research funding from the IPA. Initially, you should submit an outline of your proposal covering no more than one side of A4 paper. It should include an indicative research costing. Any successful candidates will then be required to submit a more detailed proposal.
Deadline for proposals: Friday 14th December 2012
If you would like to send a proposal, please send via email to Caroline Braibant - firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any technical queries, please contact Peter Ash – email@example.com