SciAps is a rapidly growing company based in Woburn, Massachusetts specializing in advanced handheld analytical instruments and technologies with state-of-the-art X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and laser-based (LIBS) analyzers. Their handheld analyzers can measure any element across every major industry, including Electric Vehicles, Scrap Metal & Alloys, Environmental, Geochemstiry, etc. the company’s staff has been designing, selling, and servicing field-worthy handheld elemental analyzers for more than 20 years.

Easy Engineering: Tell us about your company and what types of services do you offer?

SciAps: SciAps, Inc., is a Boston-based instrumentation company specializing in handheld portable analytical instruments to measure any element, any place on the planet. Our industry-leading X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and laser-based (LIBS) analyzers are at work across every major industry, including oil/gas, metals, mining, aerospace, battery, critical minerals, strategic metals, recycling, chemical, military, forensics, and law enforcement. SciAps instruments are configured to measure elements in all types of materials, so applications are always expanding, recently including space research, environmental contaminants, and in-field brine analysis. Our instruments are invaluable tools for instant, in-field or lab analysis. 

E.E: What are the newest products in your range?

SciAps: We’ve just introduced the Z-9 Liquidator Test Station. The Z-9 is the only field analyzer that analyzes Li in brines, along with other elements Na, Mg, B, Ca, and K. Brines are considered an alternative source of Li for the Electric Vehicle (EV) manufacturers. An in-field or at-rig analyzer has become essential to obtain timely test results and to meet the growing demand for Li. Before the Z-9, the only option for Li analysis in brines was to send samples to laboratories for ICP analysis, a process which may require several weeks, making rapid decision making at the point of production impossible. Now, the Z-9 makes testing outcrops, cores, pressed pellets, etc. simple for scientists. The Z-9 can measure Li content (and companion elements) in brines down to 2-3 ppm.

E.E: Which are the most innovative / trending products and what special features do they have?

SciAps: The biggest industries impacted by our newest products are the EV and REE industries and sustainability in agricultural operations. The products trending in those industries are our handheld LIBS analyzers, the Z-903 and Z-901 Li. The Z-903 is the only analyzer in the world that can measure Li content in rocks and brines (used with the Z-9) in a matter of seconds. The Z-901 Li is a streamlined LIBS analyzer ideal for in-field analysis of Li only in rocks, powders, and ores. 

Also new is the X-555 handheld XRF, featuring the most powerful X-ray tube in a handheld device and was developed specifically for analyzing REEs. REEs are essential in a variety of “green economy” applications including the magnets that power the motors in electric vehicles, wind energy turbines, solar panels, and communications electronics both commercial and military. Our XRF and LIBS analyzers are benefiting the agricultural technology field, which is seeking ways to perform rapid, in-situ soil measurements of key fertilizer elements nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK). The goal is to optimize, in real time, fertilizer application, therefore using less.

E.E: How important are these features for the users in their work?

SciAps: The Z-9 Liquidator Test Station is currently the only analyzer in the world that can measure Li and other metals in brines and is designed for in-field operations. 

The X-555 XRF analyzer is the only 55kv tube on the market for REEs. It delivers higher performance for critical “light” REEs and some “heavy” REEs, making it a superior option for REE analysis globally.

On the agricultural front, XRF technology can measure phosphorus and potassium (P and K) but cannot measure nitrogen (N). Our LIBS technology measures all three elements N, P and K. Like other applications if you’re trying to optimize fertilizer usage in real time, waiting for laboratory analysis simply isn’t feasible. 

E.E: How do your new products / services differ from others on the market?

SciAps: The Z-9 is the only in-field analysis of brines on the market. Along those lines, the X-555 XRF analyzer is the only 55kv tube on the market, which is ideal for REEs. We also offer analyzers at different price points, like the Z-901 Li LIBS and the X-505 XRF, which provide affordable options for Li and REE exploration and agricultural analysis.

E.E: Tell us about research and development in your company.

SciAps: Our research and development teams are some of the top scientists and engineers in their field. They speak at international conferences, contribute chapters to books on handheld technology, and keep their fingers on the pulse of current trends and needs in our world. From the very beginning, SciAps has put innovative technology at the forefront. In 2016, we developed the world’s first handheld laser analyzer (LIBS) to measure carbon, improving the NDT and PMI procedures for the oil & gas industry and for pipeline safety. In 2022, we improved XRF technology by providing the first 55kv tube on the market with the X-555 for REEs, and the first non-isotope lead paint analyzer with a HUD PCS with the X-550 Pb, both being introduced to the market when each industry became flooded with higher analytical demand. And in 2023, when Li brines became the newest source for Li, the first Li brines analysis system was already in development and ready to ship to customers in August.

E.E: What impact has product innovation on your customers?

SciAps: At SciAps, product innovation is at the heart of our mission, and its impact on our customers is profound. We’ve empowered scientific advancements, enhanced efficiency from the field to the lab, as well as expanded application horizons. Product innovation at SciAps is a catalyst for progress in science, research, and industry. We learn from our customers, adapt to their evolving needs, and reciprocate by providing them with increasingly innovative products. Our customers are not just users; they are valued partners in our journey to advance scientific technology and improve the world through innovation.

E.E: What new products / solutions are you going to launch in the future?

SciAps: Our product development plan is aligned with sustainability, environmental justice, and the green economy. The growing global demand for metals due to the transition to a low-carbon economy has launched a range of innovative products to address the in-field analytical needs of this escalating demand, both for elements and minerals. 

Our efforts in sustainability include new products for agricultural applications, plastics recycling, and battery recycling. On the environmental justice front we’re continuing the development of our industry leading lead paint and toxic metals analyzers to analyze for heavy metals in children’s products, water, soil, and dust.

To cater to this evolving landscape, we are actively developing an array of portable analyzers. These state-of-the-art instruments will empower exploration, mining, refining, fabrication, and recycling industries to conduct rapid and accurate in-field analyses, ensuring the quality and efficiency of their processes.

E.E: What industries do you think will grow in 2024? 

SciAps: The EV industry has been experiencing significant growth over the past few years, and this trend is expected to continue and even accelerate in the coming years. Several key factors are driving this growth, including environmental concerns, advancements in technology, government initiatives, infrastructure development, consumer demand and global expansion. This growth will not only impact the automotive industry but also have ripple effects across the entire supply chain, including battery production, charging infrastructure, and renewable energy sources.

E.E: What products/solutions do you provide for these industries?

SciAps: We are at the forefront of providing cutting-edge solutions for industries poised for growth. The Z-9 is a revolutionary innovation that addresses a critical need in the EV market, specifically in the realm of Li production. As the demand for Li continues to surge, there’s an urgent need to efficiently extract and measure Li from brine sources. We’re also in the development stage for other sensor technologies outside of X-ray and laser.